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Barcelona's first-half struggles frustrate Martino
Barcelona's first-half struggles frustrate Martino

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Barcelona's first-half struggles frustrate Martino

Barcelona coach Tata Martino on Saturday voiced his frustration with his side's lack of control at times this season.

The Blaugrana kept up their unblemished record in La Liga thanks to a 2-0 win over Almeria, with goals from Lionel Messi and Adriano. While the former Newell's Old Boys boss was happy with his side's second-half showing against the Andalusians, he has criticized their performance before the break.

"We did not control the game in the first half," he is quoted as saying by Sport. "We had many inaccurate passes and lost many balls. The second half was all ours and we solved it well with a goal from Adriano.

"We played well one half and reasonably the other and we have to aim for consistency, because the idea is to control it for the 90 minutes. We were also lacking movement to keep the ball and give options to the player who has it."

Neymar was left on the bench at Almeria and did not play, despite Lionel Messi's first-half injury, but Martino has confirmed that he was planning to give the Brazilian a breather.

"He played three or four days ago, has played eight games in a row and is accumulating lots of minutes," he said. "If he didn't play today and does on Tuesday it will be a difference of just three days, and I don't think he doubts his importance to the team, nor will he lose his form."

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