Atletico coach ''responsible'' for Barca annihilation
Atletico Madrid coach Javier Aguirre placed the responsibility for his side's embarrassing ''annihilation'' by Barcelona on his own shoulders while opposite number Pep Guardiola retained a note of caution following his side's stunning 6-1 demolition of Atletico.
Saturday night's game at the Camp Nou was the second time in as many years that Atletico have been thrashed by Barca, having also lost 6-0 at home in the 2006/07 season, and Aguirre admits the buck has to stop with him for Saturday's result.
''I'm the one ultimately responsible, the only one,'' said Aguirre, whose side were 3-0 down after eight minutes and 5-1 adrift inside the opening half-hour.
''I failed in the line-up, the preparation for the game, in the team-talk, not fixing the mess in the eighth minute ... in many things.
He continued ''It was lamentable. There is no explanation for conceding three goals in this way in eight minutes, ending the game as a contest. There are always bad games, but the speed in which our opponents annihilated us rarely happens. They were better than us in all facets of play, in everything.''
''The only good thing was the goal from Maxi. By the eighth minute we were already in the hands of the other team.''
In what was a remarkable opening 28 minutes at the Nou Camp, Barca raced into a 5-1 lead before Thierry Henry added a late sixth as the Catalan giants provisionally climbed up to second place in the standings.
Guardiola was thrilled with his side's victory - Barca's sixth on the trot in all competitions - but was not getting carried away with the euphoria, pointing out that it is still early on in the season.
''It's just one step more. It's a good sign and good way to convince ourselves of what we're doing,'' he said. ''The league is very long and there is a long path ahead.''
Guardiola also hailed the role his side's supporters played in the victory, and urged them to continue in that fashion in the future.
''I want to thank the fans. I'd like the public to understand that with their support we're stronger as a club and a team,'' he added.
''The players go out onto the pitch feeling much happier and stronger and do their jobs better. I'm happy because we had a very good game with the stadium full. We must make it clear we're also playing for the fans, not only for us.''
Barca midfielder Xavi added: ''I want to thank the fans for their support. I'm happy and I feel full of confidence. The team is a real team on the pitch. The movement of those up front was great. We feel good from the start. The mentality is excellent.''