Martino: Barcelona win against AC Milan not a formality

The Barcelona manager has warned his men against complacency when they come up against the Italian team this evening.

Barcelona boss Tata Martino has insisted that their match with AC Milan on Tuesday evening ‘will not be a formality’.

The Spanish giants currently sit at the top of Group H, two points clear of the Serie A team in second.

But the coach has claimed that it will not be an easy Champions League encounter at San Siro, as his men look to maintain their 100 per cent start to the competition.

Milan will play to win, and it will not be a formality for us,” he told a press conference.

“We are up against a team with a great tradition. They're too big an institution to take lightly so we'll start thinking about Real Madrid [in the next league match] on Wednesday.

“It will be a tough match. We're facing a very important club, we feel a big responsibility, but we feel the same feelings in every game.

“It will be a week of important games but it's not crucial for our season because it's a long campaign and there are many tough matches still to come.

“That said, we know that with a good result tomorrow we'll have practically wrapped up our place in the Last 16. We have to play as we know how, giving away little space and stopping Milan's counterattacks.

“On Saturday [against Osasuna] we didn't get a good result but we played well. I'm sure that we will not be affected by that result. The performance is more important than the result.”

The Argentine tactician then commented on Lionel Messi, who could return after injury.

“Everyone wants the best from Messi when he’s out on the pitch,” he added.

“He has made us expect it from him. It’s something we’ve grown used to since he made his debut in the top flight.

“Messi is fine and once he gets the clearance from the medical team, he runs the same risks as any other player.”

image: © olaszmelo

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