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Bartra Blames Bale Goal on Fitness

  • ESPN FC, Thursday, April 17, 2014 3:46 PM

Barcelona defender Marc Bartra insists that fitness issues kept him from keeping up with Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, who ran passed the central defender with ease en route to scoring what proved to be the winning goal in Real’s 2-1 Copa del Rey final win against the Catalan giant. Bartra, who had leveled the score from a header following Angel Di Maria’s opener for Real, was substituted immediately following the Welshman’s winner.

“Things did not go for me, I have spent the whole week screwed because of the hamstrings,” Bartra told reporters after the game. “I tried to hold on but I was not good physically and in the end it was not to be. I didn’t train at all with the team before the game, not even this morning. In the end I played and I felt good, but I was very tired in the final minutes. I cramped up in the final play.”

Barcelona later released a statement about the injury to left back Jordi Alba, who had to be withdrawn at halftime due to a hamstring issue, but the report made no mention of Bartra. Alba, who missed 16 games earlier this season with a similar injury, is set to undergo additional tests on Thursday.

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