Guardiola defends mis-firing Ibrahimovic

MADRID - Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has played down Zlatan Ibrahimovic's recent barren spell and noted the Swedish striker brings a lot more to the side than scoring goals.

After moving from Inter Milan in the close season, Ibrahimovic quickly netted 11 times in the league but has scored only once in Barca's last nine matches.

"He has the capacity to do a great many other things (than scoring)," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

"They are intangible things but they are our lifeblood," he added. "I don't think it'll be traumatic for the player as he is mentally very strong and he'll see it as a challenge."