matchdays | 2016-10-20
Luis Enrique: "If you win the way you asked your team to play, it feels even better."
Luis Enrique, Ivan Rakitic, Ter Stegen, Digne and Iniesta discuss the game against Manchester City
FC Barcelona beat Manchester City 4-0 yesterday at the Camp Nou, Luis Enrique and a few of the Barça players had a bit to say after the game:
Luis Enrique: "He (Messi) was decisive. He was involved in all the game’s key moments. Messi finishes as if he were playing on the school playground. It doesn’t matter if he’s coming off an injury, it’s just the way he processes the game. If you can expect anything from Messi, this is it. Those that are lucky enough to see him train each day continue to be surprised, not only for his goals but how he plays pressing game, helps the team. He’s a reference, no doubt about that. It’s clear that he is the best player in the world. He is the complete interpretation of everything football is. It would be naive to doubt Leo. He was present in all the game’s important moments. And he even made them nervous when they gifted him the first goal. It’s what happens when you give a centimetre to our most dangerous player.
There were some big errors made in the game and that’s huge in matches featuring two very good teams. The little details decide the game. If you win the way you asked your team to play, it feels even better.
Umtiti played very well at right centre back, which he did before with France’s U-21 team.
City is a team that’s constantly changing things up during the game. It’s tough to play against them. City were good until the end of the game; the expulsion changes the match.
I don’t comment on rival manager decisions, even less so if it’s a friend. I’m sure he has his reasons [for not starting Aguero]. no-one knows his player more than his manager. If he did it it’s because he thought it was the best. But in truth I’m really tired, planning a game against Pep, so I can go to sleep now."
Ivan Rakitic: "The best team won. The result was a fair reflection of what happened on the pitch. We played a serious game from the moment we scored. Leo Messi is the best player of all time. Let’s hope stays with us forever.”
Ter Stegen: "Until the red card, we had a lot of work at the back. It was very hard at first because they put us under a lot of pressure. Leo Messi is an important part of our game plan, but we have a lot of other good players who can score.We have one of the best teams in the world and we have to show that week in week out. Bravo and I talked about other things, but in the end these are things that happen - that's life for the goalkeeper. This happens sometimes but [in the long term there is] no problems for him or for his team.
Lucas Digne: "It was very important for us to beat Manchester City. We played a great game and beat a great team 4-0. I have to be ready to play whenever Luis Enrique calls on me. I’m adapting well, it feels great out there on the pitch. Ter Stegen is a great goalie and he had a great game today. Playing with Messi is incredible. He’s the best player in the world and has always shown that. He scored three magnificent goals."
Andres iniesta: "The game ended 4-0, but it was not an easy one. They challenged for possession and have some great players. It was an intense game. The difference is that we took our chances at key moments. We have nine points, which puts us in a good position, and in the next game we’ll try to move a step closer to qualifying. It was a boost for our confidence, it shows we’re doing things right. The game in England will be very different, but it does give us a great chance to get closer to advancing."
Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City players also made a few comments after the 4-0 defeat:
Pep Guardiola: "No (not the worst defeat of my career), that was against Real Madrid in Bayern Munich because there I didn’t make the right decisions. We are a new club we come here, we play, we arrive, we associate well, we create chances, I remember two or three chances. After that, the last minute was another minute with a good save from Claudio [Bravo from Luis Suarez]. But we started the second half well. After that 10 minutes, we played 10 against 11 with 2-0 down and it’s not easy.
It’s difficult to play with 11 players, until [the red card] the game was open. Last time with Bayern [Munich in 2014] we didn’t create chances but today we did, we created chances to score one or two goals. But Barça can punish you, they have a lot of quality. We controlled, except the goal.
Bravo makes no changes. He stays the same. Football is a game of mistakes. Of course, he knows what he did but he has a lot of experience, one of the best goalkeepers in last 10 years. He’s made a mistake, it happens. He’s the first one disappointed, but he will learn about that."
Nolito: "We played well in the first half, we had our chances but in the second half we were unlucky. This is football, we need to keep going. Today was a very hard game against Barca, but we did not deserve to lose 4-0. Messi is the best player in the world so he makes the difference. When he gets the ball he always does something, a goal or an assist."
Raheem Sterling: "It was an interesting game - it was a top team we played, we played really well at times and we could have scored a few goals of our own. We handed them some goals as well, and with the sending off it was really disappointing because at that point we were into the game. With a team like this we've got to have 11 men on the field working and pressing hard but that wasn't the case and they punished us, so we have to pick ourselves up and go again.
It's a big difference when you give the ball to those players up front - Messi, Neymar and Suarez because they are going to punish you they are going to score goals every time they get a chance. That's what we needed to cut out... giving the ball to those guys in areas like that because they are ruthless in front of goal."
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