Andres Iniesta says Barcelona are anticipating a tough return match against Villarreal despite winning the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final 3-1 on Wednesday.
The World Cup winner was joined on the scoresheet by fellow La Masia graduates Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi, as his side battled past the tenacious Yellow Submarine, who had Manuel Trigueros to thank for the potentially vital away goal.
With both teams still being involved in Europe, they will have to wait until next month to resume their battle, but it is sure to be a tense clash at a vibrant El Madrigal.
The recent elimination of both Madrid clubs means Copa del Rey success appears to be the Blaugrana’s most likely source of success this season and they are currently 1.06 to go through to the final against either Espanyol or Athletic Bilbao, with Villarreal 8.14.
Iniesta admits he was pleased with the way his side battled to victory in Wednesday’s game but acknowledges that they still have plenty of work to do if they’re to book their place in the competition’s showpiece.
“We’ve met the first objective, which was to win and put the tie in our favour,” he is quoted as saying by Sport. “It’s a pity about the goal we conceded. Now we go there but it won’t be easy. Villarreal’s pitch is always uncomfortable and intense and we expect a tough match.
“I’m very confident we’re in great form and we have to continue to grow. We’re excited for the Cup. There are a lot of rounds and a lot of work. We dream of all trophies. Hopefully we can take this last step and then we would have a final.”