Keita the key, says Guardiola

Pep Guardiola singled out Seydou Keita as the man who made the difference for a depleted Barcelona in their 3-0 win over Mallorca.

Goals from Lionel Messi, David Villa and Pedro secured the La Liga victory for the visitors to the Iberostar Stadium on Saturday.

But Mali international Keita – who has been forced to contend with a place on the bench for much of the season – was the man to draw special praise from Barca coach Guardiola.

“Today we have won the game thanks to (Seydou) Keita,” Guardiola said.

“He is a strong midfielder, and we need him a lot. I’m happy for him.”

The defending La Liga champions were without key men Carlos Puyol, Victor Valdes, Dani Alves and Xavi for the away match.

But Guardiola acknowledged that injuries and suspensions were a fact of life.

“I would prefer that they were all available and nobody got hurt, but these things happen,” he said.

“If they didn’t we would just have 11 players and our accounts would be healthier.”