Martino: "We were only focused on winning"
“We won the first 90 minutes in a match that lasts 180. We’re going to approach the second leg as if it were 0-0,” says the manager
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino defeated Manuel Pellegrini in the first bout of the knockout tie, but despite the 0-2 from tonight’s match at the Etihad in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the Champions League, the manager isn’t taking anything for granted. “I don’t have the assurance that we’re in the next round, but I do have the tranquility of doing a good job away from home.” Martino explained that his team travelled to Manchester with only one objective: to win. “We came here to win. There was no moment when we thought in any other result that wasn’t winning. I think the result is fair.”
He then admitted that his men lost control of the match at times, but that “I’m focusing on the solid performance from the team.” He added: “We played a bit differently than we usually do when we have three strikers. The selection of an additional midfielder was made in order to have more possession.” When asked about Leo Messi, who scored the opener, he highlighted the player’s “commitment to the team when it comes to recovering possession.”
Despite the win in Manchester, Martino doesn’t think the tie is over. “We won the first 90 minutes in a match that lasts 180. We’re going to approach the second leg as if it were 0-0.” He also noted that Manchester City are a very good side: “City have only lost at home to Bayern and later, in Germany, they managed to win.”