DAY REVIEW: Barça through to knock-out stage, four teams also win reverse fixtures
Round 8 of the Machineseeker EHF Champions League concluded on Thursday with three home victories and two away wins. Montpellier and Magdeburg took easy points away, Kielce, Veszprém and Barça made their home fans happy.
While in group A only Szeged won both matches in the rounds 7 and 8, in group B, all four victors of last week won the reverse fixtures.
Barça won twice against Plock and are 12 points ahead of them with only six rounds, they are the first team to proceed to the knock-out stage.
Veszprém and Barça top the table of group B with 14 points each, while THW Kiel are number 1 in group A with eleven points. After eight rounds, both Pelister and Celje are still on zero points.
I am very satisfied because it was not our good performance. My players had a lot of matches and traveled much. Zagreb showed in previous matches they are dangerous. In this mini crisis we need to be together and I am happy that my players understood that and we won.
We started with advantage of four goals, our goalkeeper Matej Mandić was great. We played against great individuals. The second half was fast and intense. 50 maybe 55 minutes we stayed strong and after that something collapsed. Opposite team exploited our mistakes.
I am happy that the guys took today's match seriously. I tried to rotate them, which is why I am especially pleased with their performance today. After the match in Celje, we talked a lot about needing to improve in the game. Our goalkeepers were also good today, we played well.
Unfortunately, we could not get closer to them in the second match either, they are on a completely different level. For me, Veszprém are one of the best teams and they have a great chance to win the Champions League this year. A very strong and ambitious team.
If we protected the ball more in the first half, it would have been more equal. Magdeburg are machines, and that’s why they won the Champions League last year.
It was awesome to be back. GOG means a lot to me, especially when you are winning. It’s weird to play against old friends and coaches. But that’s the name of the game. But this club means a lot to me so it was good to be back.
Montpellier presented great defence here. It was very important to win these points, we made a good first half and a good entrance in the second half. But then technical fouls and their fast breaks managed to put us behind. When we tried to reach out again it was very difficult. We couldn’t change their rhythm and we lost the match.
We knew playing in Porto would be more difficult and we had to fight the whole 60 minutes. We trusted ourselves and we worked this week, in the end it paid off and we’re really happy about it.
Plock played a great match. They were in the match for 50 minutes. We are trying to explain to new players our philosophy as a team. We are doing good so far. We are Barça and we have to compete every match to win.
We played a very good match. At minute 50 the result was 24-22 and we had a ball to short the difference to just 1. Then their goalkeepers, in my opinion the best couple in Champions League, appeared. It was special for me to play here in Barcelona, with my parents in the stands.