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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 4, 2006

Rijkaard not concerned by Barca's lack of goals

Barcelona may need to get back on the goal trail against Benfica after scoring just once in their last three matches, but coach Frank Rijkaard has urged caution from his side.

Despite possessing one of the most feared forward lines in Europe the Catalan side failed to find the net against Benfica in the first-leg, then drew a blank against Malaga before a 1-1 draw against Real Madrid saw them break their duck.

Argentinian youngster Lionel Messi is missing from the side and he has been one of their most effective attacking threats this year but a side boasting the Ronaldinho, African player of the year Samuel Eto'o, Henrik Larsson, Deco and Ludovic Giuly is still well armed up front.

In the first-leg of the quarter-final tie in the Estadio da Luz, Barca created plenty of chances and did everything but score, leaving themselves an awkward match at the Nou Camp knowing that an away goal for Benfica would give them a mountain to climb.

Rijkaard said: 'We have to approach the game using our heads and without feeling that we are superior to them. We need to accept that Benfica concede very few goals and that away from home they are dangerous as they showed against Liverpool.'

In the weekend draw with fierce rivals Real, Barca again failed to score from open play despite dominating and only found the net when Ronaldinho converted a penalty.

'I said after that game that it is the rest that have to worry because we have everything in our own hands, as much the league as the Champions League. We should not get carried away, the team is functioning well and creating chances,' said Rijkaard.

'The players are human as well, we know we have to score more goals and also hope that we do not have more injuries.'

Messi revealed this week that he is nearing a return after being on the sidelines since injuring his thigh against Chelsea in the last round.

However Rijkaard does not want to risk bringing him back too early, saying: 'If he was to pick up another injury now then it could be fatal for his career and so it is better to wait and make sure that there is no chance that there could be a reaction.'

Barca will also be without Jose Edmilson, Rafa Marquez and Thiago Motta but captain Carles Puyol who missed the game in Portugal through suspension is back.

Benfica have travel to the Nou Camp looking to continue their reputation as giant-killers.

'Our objective is to be champions and we will play the game in the Nou Camp looking to pave the way for our progress into the semi-finals,' said former Barca player Geovanni.

Coach Ronald Koeman has so far refused to comment ahead of the game but his main concern is over the loss of Nuno Gomes who was injured at the weekend against Belenenses.

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