Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said he was happy with his team’s performance despite losing 1-0 to Manchester City, and appealed for patience from fans over new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Guardiola introduced a number of young reserve team players and left many of his name players on the bench.
“I am very happy with their performance, young players facing a quality team like Manchester City. We are fortunate to have a good pool,” he said.
“I made many changes, and the youngsters responded very well.”
The most anticipated moment came in the second half, when Ibrahimovic and Argentine Lionel Messi, two of the top-rated strikers in the world, came on.
It was Ibrahimovic’s first match for the club since his transfer from Inter this summer and since undergoing surgery on a broken hand last month.
Guardiola appealed to fans to give him some time to adapt.
“He has come for four or five years, not for one day,” he said, adding that combining with his teammates “takes a bit of learning.”
The player himself said he is just trying to find his “rythmn” in the new team.
“I played 45 minutes and I tried not to think about the injury to my hand. It bothered me a bit, but I play with my feet not with my hands.”