FC Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova was pleased with the display of stop-gap defender Adriano during the 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in the Clasico.
Lionel Messi and Crisitano Ronaldo took the headlines with two goals each in the game Sunday, but the big surprise of the night was the appearance of Adriano, who normally plays on the wing or at full back, in the heart of the Barca defence ahead of Alex Song to cover for injured duo Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, reports Xinhua.
The Brazilian produced an impressive performance, although he was responsible for breaking the offside trap when Ronaldo scored Madrid’s second goal of the night.
“We spoke with the technical staff and I spoke with him (Adriano) Friday, we trained with him there on Friday and Saturday, but I wanted him to say he was the man to play there. We know Madrid look to get round your back and I wanted him to be sure he could play there. He did well,” said Vilanova, who was not unhappy with the result despite having seen a chance to go eight points clear of his team.
“I think that at the start of the season had we known we would be eight points clear we would have accepted it. We had chances at the end, but we also had four defenders who were first choice last season who were injured,” said Vilanova, who insisted he had confidence in recent signing Alex Song.
Vilanova also praised Messi, saying there was no doubt he was the best player in the world.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho thought 2-2 was a fair result saying: “The result has adapted to what we saw on the pitch. It was a great game and the public enjoyed it. That is the truth and the result was in the air until the final whistle,” said the Madrid coach.
As Vilanova praised Messi, Mourinho was delighted with Ronaldo, who looked to be struggling with a shoulder injury which he suffered after a bad fall as he tried an overhead kick.
“He and Messi are players from a different world and it should be forbidden to say who is best. However, I would like the Balon D’or to be for my player,” he commented.