Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has hit out at Real Madrid defender Pepe in the wake of Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.
The Portugal international accused the Catalans of diving in this weekend’s Clasico, but Vilanova was quick to point out that the defender made enough fouls to fill an entire video.
“And if Pepe has said that we were theatrical then and all I can say is that you could make a film of all the kicks Pepe gave us tonight,” Vilanova stated at the post-match press conference.
The Barca coach then went on to voice his dismay with Jose Mourinho’s criticism of the referee, and stressed that the Madrid coach should also look at the decisions that went in his side’s favour.
“After all this talk about not mentioning referees, Mourinho has then gone and spoken about it. So I say to him, if we want to talk about referees, let’s talk about every decision, not just the ones that interest him.
“There was a foul on [Andres] Iniesta in the lead up to their second goal.
“Mourinho told me it was a great game and I would say the same. We have a good relationship with each other, now we always greet each other. When I was the assistant coach he didn’t greet me.”
Vilanova explained that he opted to start Adriano in defence as he deemed it necessary to play with quick defenders. Before the game many thought Alex Song would start the match, but after the final whistle the Blaugrana boss revealed why he decided against this.
“Song knows the concepts, but still takes time to execute them. I preferred Adriano because he’s faster, we needed that against Madrid,” the 44-year-old said.
“Congratulations to the defence, to [Martin] Montoya, Adriano, it’s not easy to play in such a game in a defence without several starters,” Vilanova said.
“Our four defenders who would be starters – Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal – weren’t there. I’m very satisfied with how the others did.”
On [Dani] Alves’ injury, he said: “Alves won’t be able to play with Brazil this week. He’ll be out for some days, although it doesn’t look really bad.”
Javier Mascherano also commented after the game on the decision to play Adriano alongside him in defence.
“Adriano as a centre-back was kept secret. We had been training with that line-up the whole week,” the former Liverpool player said.
Adriano himself also remarked on Vilanova’s decision to play him in an unfamiliar role: “People didn’t expect me to play centre-back.
“I thank the coach for believing in me.”
Xavi, who was appearing in his 35th Clasico match this evening, told reporters that he believed his side controlled the game when they were in possession, but suffered when they did not have the ball.
“When we had the ball, we dominated, without the ball we suffer. We were stronger at the end. Both could have won, great game,” said the 32-year-old.
On the result, he added: “Looking at the ranking, this result might be better for us, but you still have a bitter taste because we could have won.
“We missed a chance to get a lead of 11 points on Madrid, but before the season we would have been delighted to be eight points ahead at this stage.”
Sergio Busquets, when asked by Canal+ about the sportsmanship on show compared with Clasico meetings in recent seasons said: “We always try to be sporting. What happened in the past is not good for anyone, and everyone knows that.”