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Martino: Barcelona approaching footballing excellence again

The Argentine coach was pleased with the way the Catalans improved after the break and feels his side is on the right path.

Gerardo Martino believes Barcelona is slowly getting back to its best form following the 4-0 Champions League win over Ajax at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

The Liga champions occasionally struggled in the opening 45 minutes, but eventually recorded a comfortable win thanks to a Lionel Messi hat trick and Gerard Pique's strike.

"Barcelona recently reached footballing excellence and therefore the fans are more demanding. We're getting back to where Barcelona have always been, though," Martino said at a press conference. "We are still making mistakes, but we are improving game by game. In general I thought the team did well. We need to keep the performance levels up over the whole 90 minutes.

"We didn't play well in the first half, with many long balls. We were better in the second half, better in terms of our passing game.

"People are saying we're trying to change the style, but that's not true. We are looking for alternatives. It doesn’t mean we’re changing the style if we add alternatives to our game."

Barcelona resumes La Liga action away against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

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