Barcelona's Pep Guardiola hails Rayo Vallecano's bravery: I am sure they will ... -

Pep Guardiola - Barcelona

Pep Guardiola - Barcelona

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola praised Rayo Vallecano's approach to the game following his side's 4-0 victory at Camp Nou.
An Alexis Sanchez double plus goals from David Villa and Lionel Messi allowed Guardiola's side to close the gap on Real Madrid in the Liga standings to three points.

After the match, the 40-year-old lauded coach Jose Ramon Sandoval's tactics and stated that the Madrid-based club are not threatened by the prospect of relegation.

"I would like to congratulate Rayo, who had a good match," Guardiola told reporters at a press conference. "They did things well and it was hard for us to beat them.

"It is impossible for them not to remain in La Liga with this ambition. They are a brave team. I would bet that they will stay in La Liga."

Guardiola then played down Gerard Pique's yellow card, which was his fifth in the competition this season.

It will see him miss the weekend visit of Levante, thus preventing the defender from being ineligible for the Clasico against Madrid on December 9 if he was booked against the Valencia-based side.

"The images show what they show and everyone saw them," Guardiola said about Pique, who shown a yellow card for time wasting.

"I do not comment on the referee's decisions. I did not do it with the penalties against Valencia or the offside against Getafe."

The Spanish coach also rejected suggestions of a rift with Villa, who has found starting spots somewhat hard to come by in the latest games.

"David Villa moves very well in these positions," Guardiola noted. "His team-mates have to find him.

"He is very important to us and he does not stop moving. Without him, things would be harder.

"Sometimes, the ball does not get to him, but he is tireless."

Every Friday through to January, will publish extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. Last Friday's second extract was about how Joan Laporta and Sandro Rosell used David Beckham as a vote-winner in the club elections of 2003, even though a deal was already done between Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Visit our Euro 2012 microsite for all you need to know ahead of Friday's draw and beyond - team profiles, stadium guides, even which hotels are best to stay in!

30 Nov, 2011

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