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Teams are beginning to figure out Barcelona, admits Vilanova

Teams are beginning to figure out Barcelona, admits Vilanova

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The Blaugrana coach says wins are becoming increasingly harder to attain due to rivals now adopting tactics that attempt to stifle the club's possession-based style of play.

Tito Vilanova says Barcelona must now fight harder than ever to secure victories, as he prepares for his side's UEFA Champions League Group D encounter with Benfica on Tuesday.

Except for Barca's defeat to Real Madrid in the second-leg of the Supercopa, the 2011-12 Spanish runners-up have won all of their other seven matches this season, but they have kept just two clean sheets in the process.

Their tendency to leak goals has been acknowledged by their boss, who conceded that other teams were inevitably going to figure out ways to counter their 'tiki-taka' approach, which saw them prosper under Pep Guardiola.

"It says a lot about the players, who have won so much," Vilanova said at a press conference. "You can also see that nothing is easy. Sometimes we underestimate other teams, but we saw how good Sevilla really were. We're always the ones to beat, and it's becoming increasingly difficult, because other teams know how we play."

Nonetheless, Vilanova will be leading his charges out at Estadio da Luz on Tuesday, and he expects an open match between the two teams, given that the Eagles are at home and his side only has its eyes on three points.

"It's an important week, because we're playing big teams this week: Sevilla, Benfica and Madrid, but it's not key," Vilanova said. "Unless something big happens, titles are always decided later on. "Benfica are playing at home so I don't think they'll be defending deep. But if that's the case then we'll deal with it. Anyway, I don't think they'll go out looking for a draw. The most important match is the one tomorrow, after that we'll talk about the others. In this group phase there are only six games."

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