Dutt hails Barça, defends German football
Bayer Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt does not believe his side's 7-1 battering at Barcelona reflects badly on the Bundesliga and preferred instead to focus on the brilliance of the European champions.
Barça were at their unplayable best, with Lionel Messi becoming the first player to score five times in one UEFA Champions League game as Leverkusen were brushed aside. Some critics were quick to suggest the result was an indication of how far German football currently stood behind that in Spain, but Dutt pointed out Barcelona were just as dominant domestically.
"It is not fair to question German football just because Leverkusen have lost 7-1 here," he said. "Valencia were in our group and they lost 5-1 to Barcelona, while other Spanish rivals have gone down 8-0 here.
"We should not be doubting German football based on one defeat, which may feel bad but we must also recognise the quality of Barcelona. We have got to consider how you can manage to create a concept and a philosophy which makes you superior to such an extent. If you want to beat Barcelona, then everything has got to go right for you and nothing can go right for Barça."
The result completed a 10-2 aggregate defeat for Leverkusen, who had won their last three Bundesliga matches to travel to the Nou Camp in confident mood.
And Dutt says Barcelona's strengths should be recognised more than his side's apparent weaknesses.
"I think it would be unfair to accuse my side of giving up," he told Sky television. "Barcelona became more courageous after scoring their second goal and they were able to play more freely.
"You have got to recognise the strength of the opponents - they encompass the three big Ts of football: technique, tactics and team spirit. When all of these three elements come together at such a level, then you have got to admire it.
"But I will hold back with my admiration. I respect and recognise their performance, but it hurts because we were their opponents today."