Pinto: Barca fired up for Milan clash

José Manuel Pinto played his first La Liga game for Barcelona in their 2-0 win over Deportivo la Coruna and is excited for his side's upcoming clash with AC Milan.

Jose Manuel Pinto of Barcelona

By FOX Sports Staff

The reserve goalkeeper, who took the place of the suspended Victor Valdes, will likely not participate in the Champions League last-16 second leg on Tuesday night.

Despite this, he knows that the home game means a lot to the fans and his team-mates, especially as Barcelona, who trail by two goals within the tie, could be knocked out of the competition.

The 37-year-old, who played his first game for Barca in the league in five years, was therefore happy that his side suffered no hiccups and secured an easy win over lowly Deportivo on Saturday night.

"We are all very eager for Tuesday to arrive," he told the club website after the game.

"The victory is important in the sense that it lifts the team and the fans in general. Between all of us we need to pick ourselves up.

"I'm very pleased because we are playing well again."

The three points secured on the night are not really of great significance as Barca already had a commanding 11-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid prior to the game. Pinto, however, insisted that it was important to grind out wins on a continual basis.

"It's always important to win, we can close in on the Liga title if we keep on winning."

Barca won the tie after Alexis Sanchez put them ahead in the 38th minute with a thundering shot that bounced down off the crossbar and crossed the goal-line. They needed to wait until the 88th minute for Lionel Messi, who came on as a substitute, to score their second goal but were comfortable winners overall.

Dani Alves, though, believes it was not the best of performances from his side and called on his team-mates to do better against Milan on Tuesday.

He said: "We competed poorly, a quality rival punishes you when you don't put your chances away. We need to improve."

"It's not about eating away at Madrid's morale, it's just that they competed better than we did [in our previous La Liga game].

"If we want to stay in the Champions League we have to compete well."



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