Martino praises Real Madrid quality

The 51-year-old believes his side's errors on Sunday were due to the opposition’s pedigree, while insisting his future is no longer in doubt following the win

Barcelona head coach Gerardo Martino has praised the quality of Real Madrid following his side’s narrow 4-3 win over the league leaders on Sunday.

The result leaves the Blaugrana in third place and just a point behind Madrid and leaders Atletico, who top the division as a result of their superior head to head record with their city rivals.

However, despite coming away from the Bernabeu with all three points, Martino pointed to the quality of los Blancos as the reason behind his side's defensive struggles on Sunday. 

"I always like to look at things that we have done wrong, but the quality of the opponent is very important also,” Martino told reporters. “On the occasions that we have shown weakness, Real Madrid often showed their supremacy.

“In each of Madrid’s chances, we have to see what we did wrong, but, with players like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Angel] Di Maria, this is an opponent with enormous power and it is difficult not to suffer against a team like that.

“We made mistakes but, clearly, many were due to Madrid’s quality."

Sergio Ramos was dismissed in controversial circumstances in the second half of the game, with Lionel Messi converting the subsequent penalty, and Martino admits he is disappointed that incident has overshadowed the efforts of his players.

"The Clasico was very emotional and exciting and I enjoyed it,” he added.

“I get the feeling that the match the other day gives plenty of material to talk about football, however the media are not talking about football. I thought that we were here to talk about football."

Prior to Sunday’s game, Barca had suffered two defeats in their last four league matches and questions were raised over the Argentine’s future with the club.

However, the 51-year-old does not believe he is under pressure and remains confident he has the backing of the board.

"It's totally true what the president says about my contract. I have nothing guaranteed, but Barcelona hired me and I will fulfil my contract."