Barcelona ready for fight after shock defeat

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola knows life has become much harder for them in Group F following their Champions League defeat to Rubin Kazan - but he had few complaints about his side's performance despite the 2-1 defeat.

Holders Barca had not suffered a defeat in Europe since last December, when, having already qualified for the last 16, a much-weakened side were beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk, but that run came to an end last night against a hard-working Rubin side.

The result has made things extremely tight in Group F, with Barca now level on four points with Rubin and Dynamo Kiev, while Italian giants Inter Milan are just one point behind, and with two of their final three games involving difficult winter trips to Ukraine and Russia, Guardiola knows his men have a fight on their hands to progress.

He said: "The group has become very tight, and we all have a chance to get through to the last 16.

"Now we will try and get a good result in Russia. We are going to fight."

Guardiola, who as a player was part of the only Barca team to have suffered a home defeat to Russian opposition prior to last night's loss when CSKA Moscow triumphed in the Nou Camp in the 1992-93 season, could find little to criticise his side for during the reverse against Rubin, though.

Barca fell behind inside the opening two minutes when Alexander Ryazantsev surprised everyone with a long-range piledriver, but the home side drew level through Zlatan Ibrahimovic just after half-time and had plenty of chances to add more goals only to be denied by a mixture of poor finishing, good goalkeeping by Sergei Ryzhikov and bad luck.

The hosts were then hit with a sucker-punch in the 73rd minute when Rubin broke away to net what would prove to be the winning goal through Gokdeniz Karadeniz.

Barca tried hard to get back on level terms, hitting the crossbar through Ibrahimovic and then the post deep into injury-time when Yaya Toure got his head to a Xavi corner, but the Catalan giants could not save themselves from suffering their first competitive defeat of the season.

"Football is like that," said a pragmatic Guardiola.

"With the statistics that we had, in any other sport we would have won, but not in football. I honestly think that we had a good game, but results do not always show that.

"We've had a good game, but we've lost, and you cannot do anything about that. It's disappointing because we could have taken an important step towards the last 16."

Barca midfielder Toure added: "I felt Barca had a great game, but the Russians are physically very powerful.

"We've dominated the match, but dominating isn't winning. We've had very bad luck. We had 24 shots and we've only scored one goal.

"Now we have to lift our heads and continue working. The games in Ukraine and Russia will be very difficult, but we are Barca and we always have to go out to win."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain