Gerardo Martino said he must shoulder the blame for Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat at Real Sociedad on Saturday, insisting that he ‘read the game wrong.’ La Real took the lead through an Alex Song own goal, only for Lionel Messi to equalize four minutes later. Two second-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and David Zurutuza five minutes apart gave La Real a well-deserved three points.
“La Real played well and I misread the game,” Martino, who was sent to the stands during the game, said afterward. “I thought our performance should have been similar to the one we put in against La Real in the Copa del Rey semifinals [Barca won the two-game series 3-1].” Martino had made six changes to the team that beat Manchester City 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg on Tuesday. The Argentine reflected that this may not have been the best decision:
“We thought that the physical exertion of the Manchester City game could present problems and we rotated so that every member of the squad would feel important, “ he said. “But of course, it’s clear that rotating the team is only a good idea when it works.”