Madrid: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola dedicated his side`s 4-0 win over Getafe Tuesday night to French defender Eric Abidal.
Abidal underwent a liver transplant Tuesday and the thoughts of the fans in the Camp Nou Stadium were clearly with him as they dedicated a round of applause to the defender in the 22nd minute of the game (Abidal wears the number 22 shirt for Barca).
After the win, which was sealed by two goals from Alexis Sanchez plus goals from Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez, Guardiola also remembered the player.
"We want to dedicate the win to Abidal. It has been a special day for us," said the coach in his post game press conference.
The win takes Barcelona to just one point of Real Madrid, who have to play neighbours Atletico in the Madrid derby Wednesday night. Should Real Madrid fail to win, it would mean that Barcelona control the destiny of the title and could overtake Real Madrid with a win in `El Classico", which will be played April 21.
"We have done our job and now we are only thinking about our next game, which is away to Levante," said Guardiola, who nevertheless failed to write off Real Madrid.
"Teams like that have a certain level of pressure, I didn’t see the game they drew in Villarreal, but I watched them draw against Malaga and they could have won both matches," he said, before turning his attention back to his own players.
"We are content with things, not just for the work of the youth team players, but also for Alexis, Adriano (David) Villa. We are building the foundations here and that is interesting," said Guardiola.
The Barca coach ended with words of praise for defender Javier Mascherano, Xinhua reports.
"Without him we would not be able to maintain the team the way it is at the moment," he concluded.