The manager of Barcelona FC, Gerardo Martino, surprised a lot of people by not including his two best players Lionel Messi and Neymar in the starting line up for the all important game against Atletico Madrid which took place yesterday.

Both these players were sent onto the pitch in the second half of the match, but, they couldn’t do much. The defence of The Red and Whites proved to be too much for these two great forwards and the match eventually ended without a goal being scored. Both the teams were awarded one point each and it means that both of them are still equalized as far as the total no. of points is concerned.

Many people believe that Martino missed the trick by not starting with either Messi or Neymar in the match. Had he done so, Barca would probably have won. But, the 51 years old Argentinean tried to explain his decision in the post match press conference.

The Blaugrana boss said, “They both have just got rid of their respective fitness problems. So, starting with them would not have been ideal I reckon.”

“Our plan was to send them on the ground with 20 or 25 minutes remaining, but, because of the fact that Andres’ knee got bruised, we had to send Lionel on a little earlier. However, the good thing for us is that he didn’t seem to have any problem in playing the entire second half. He moved as well as ever.”

Despite that draw, Barca is still at the first position in the La Liga points table and that’s because their goal differential (+41) is better than that of Atletico Madrid (+36).

Barcelona’s next match is a Copa Del Rey encounter against Getafe CF on Thursday.