Roura: Madrid was far superior to Barcelona

The stand-in Camp Nou coach condemned the result that knocked the Blaugrana out of the Copa del Rey at the semifinal stage, but he believes his players will bounce back.

Stand-in Barcelona coach Jordi Roura said that Real Madrid was far superior to Barcelona on Tuesday in its 3-1 win that knocked the Catalan power out of the Copa del Rey at the semifinal stage.

An early penalty kick goal from Cristiano Ronaldo set the tone before the Portuguese attacker doubled the lead in the second half. Raphael Varane’s header ensured that Jordi Alba’s late effort meant nothing as Los Blancos went through to face Sevilla or Atletico Madrid in the Spanish cup final.

"In the first round and in the Supercopa, the two teams were matched. They were decided by details. [But tonight, Madrid] were far superior and we lacked effectiveness," Roura, who was coaching in place of Tito Vilanova, told reporters after the match. "In football you cannot always control things; it is a game of mistakes. Madrid are one of the best teams around on the break. This is a thing that we knew, and we tried to control it but we lacked wisdom. That makes Madrid a great team.

"In La Liga, we have made a great effort. The first half [of the season] was the best ever. I do not think that this will affect us; perhaps this will give us peace of mind, because we have the league to focus on. But we do not have it won, so we must keep fighting."

Barca faces Madrid again on Saturday, but that match is considered less important as the Liga is almost in Barca’s grasp. It can serve a purpose as a rebound match, though, as early in March Barcelona will be tested against AC Milan in the Champions League.

Roura admitted the defeat in the Copa del Rey is hard to swallow, but he demanded his players turn their frustration into focus as they seek to overturn a two-goal deficit in the second leg of their last-16 tie against the Rossoneri.

"The attitude of my players was commendable. We will overcome this bump," Roura said. "I have confidence in my team, and we will be helped by our great fans, I'm sure.

"We’ve lost our Copa del Rey title, but our league situation is very favorable. It is essential for us. We also have an important match against AC Milan [to prepare for]. The Champions League and the league are major challenges that we'll fight for.

"When you are eliminated from a competition, players are sad, but still very competitive. We must recover."

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