Barcelona lacked cutting edge, says Martino

The Blaugrana coach was left troubled by his side's inability to create chances without the talismanic Lionel Messi to spearhead the attack
Gerardo Martino admitted Barcelona lacked a cutting edge after they laboured to a 1-0 victory over Malaga on Sunday evening.

The Liga champions found chances hard to come by at La Rosaleda, securing the three points thanks to Adriano's long distance effort in the first half.

And Martino felt his side's level of performance suffered as the game went on and felt they should've created more given their superior possession throughout.

“Today Barcelona started well but we were worse as the game went on,” conceded the 50-year-old.

“We lacked some effectiveness and chances for all of the possession we had.

“Until the 25th minute of the second half, we had complete control – only at the end did we not have the ball and they had two very good chances.

Neymar again had to settle for a place on the bench, despite scoring his first goal against Atletico Madrid in midweek, but Martino was quick to praise the Brazilian for his impact after coming on.

“There is a difference between Neymar’s first game and his latest one,” the 50-year-old pointed out.

“The important thing is that he always brings something when he’s playing.”

The Barcelona coach was also quizzed about Lionel Messi’s fitness and revealed he will continue to monitor the Argentine's condition ahead of the second leg of their Spanish Super Cup clash on Tuesday.

“Messi worked at the club today. We’ll see how he feels," he said.

“There’s two days remaining before the game, but we are very pleased with his progress.”

Barcelona take on Atleti having drawn the first leg 1-1 in Madrid, in which Messi was withdrawn at half-time after bruising the muscle in his left thigh.