Vilanova says Barcelona heading down the 'right track'
The Catalan giants were at their mesmerising best in the opening 18 minutes at the Riazor on Saturday night as they stormed to a three-goal lead, only to be taken to the wire by Deportivo in a thrilling La Liga encounter to win 5-4.
But rather than dwell on any defensive frailties, Vilanova preferred to focus on what they did well - a stunning start that he claimed was vintage Barca.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Barca play like this. Our opening 20 minutes were spectacular,” Vilanova said. “We had the game controlled and we were playing at a very high level. We had the chance to make it 0-4, but then the penalty was called. From that point on, the game got a bit crazy.”
Indeed, ‘crazy’ was perhaps the best way to describe a match which featured a Lionel Messi hat-trick, a controversial Javier Mascherano red-card and a brilliant fightback from the hosts.
Deportivo fought back to trail 4-2 at the break and threatened to steal an unlikely point with Luis Pizzi’s second goal before Messi sealed the win with his third.
And Vilanova was more than satisfied with his team’s effort, despite the tight finish.
“With 10 men on the pitch, they showed that they are eager to keep on winning,” he added. “They showed their desire when everything was going against us, playing a man down for so many minutes.”
Elsewhere, Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0. The capital club now lie in fourth spot on 14 points eight behind the Catalan giants at the top.