Barca going all out for Spartak win - Vilanova
MOSCOW (AFP) –
Barcelona will go all out for victory in their Champions League match against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday in their bid to secure a place in the knock-out phase as Group G winners, coach Tito Vilanova has vowed.
Spartak lie bottom of the group on three points but Vilanova insisted that nothing would be taken for granted of a side coached by former Valencia boss Unai Emery.
“I’ve known Emery since he worked at Valencia,” Vilanova said. “His teams usually play well both in attack and defence.
“Our teams are not so familiar with one another and that may be a slight advantage for Emery. But one way or another we will try to earn the best possible result against Spartak.”
Vilanova added that after his team’s shock 2-1 loss away to Celtic in the last round of matches, a full-strength squad had come to Russia.
“In every group match we were thinking only about the victory,” Vilanova said. “Our group is very hard and every one of our opponents are tough rivals.
“We will have to play well. I, of course, expect maximum commitment from all the players.
“Maybe if we had beaten Celtic we would have left some players at home, but this is a very important match. We need to play well and win to finish top of the group. We have not qualified yet. This is a tough group, so it is no easy task.”
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas was gearing up for a tough game, saying: “We all remember how well Spartak played at the Nou Camp.
“They played well tactically, with discipline. They were hard opponents and the match was really tough. That’s why we are preparing for tomorrow’s match carefully.
“We’re taking Spartak seriously and are ready for a tough encounter.”
Spartak coach Emery said that his team will try to play aggressive football against Barcelona.
“To play against Barcelona means to face difficulties no matter what. However, we have reason for optimism because we are also a strong team and have won two of our last three games,” Emery said.
“We will play our normal style of football and try to convert our opportunities. Our aim is to win on Tuesday as we want to reach the knockout stage.”