Mauricio Pochettino Won't Fault Espanyol For Effort Against "Almost Perfect" Barcelona

The Argentine coach was amazed by the visitors...
Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino refused to criticise his players in the aftermath of their 5-1 defeat to city rivals Barcelona.

Instead the young boss in fact offered encouragement to his charges, and also found the time to praise his opponents.

"Espanyol tried to be true to their style tonight, and we tried with all our might," he sighed.

"We had opportunities to get into the game, but Barcelona were in a state of grace. We'll mature and grow from this.

"I'm proud of the attitude of my players and thus, the result shouldn't take away from what the team's achieved.

"Barcelona played almost perfectly, and what we did today was not enough. Theirs is a great team both individually and collectively."

Finally Pochettino made reference to the Espanyol fans' warm reception of Barcelona stalwart Andres Iniesta, who was warmly applauded in the aftermath of his show of respect for departed Espanyol skipper Dani Jarque.

"The fans treated Andres brilliantly, and this speaks very well of the Espanyol supporters," he said.

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