matchdays | 2017-01-23
Luis Enrique: “We have had a positive first half in La Liga”
Another Lionel Messi exhibition secures a win for Barça on Basque ground
Barça has defeated Eibar 0-4 with goals from Denis Suárez, Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar Jr. and finishes the first round of La Liga with a thump over the Basque side. Despite the struggles in some phases of the league path, Luis Enrique said that “the first round balance is positive, we can always improve yet we are still fighting for all the titles. All the coaches look for an optimal dynamics which generate greater confidence and improve the results. We are looking for a streak of good results and we hope this is the beginning of a very good one.”
The Barcelona boss acknowledged the difficulties their players had to overcome Eibar’s game strategy: “Despite that we knew about their potential, the beginning of the match has been tough and hard due to their defensive pressing, with them having some scoring chances. But we have been capable to defend well and when we have overcame their pressure, we have known how to take advantage of that in order to generate attacking chances.”
Luis Enrique added: “We are going home with a great result, with some excellent final minutes on the first half and great second half as well. I’ve seen a powerful Eibar side, proving that their position in the league table is for a reason”. On top of that, Lucho remarked the importance of “giving playing minutes to players who will be important in the season and we have rested footballers with many games played”.
The unfortunate event of the match was Escalante’s harsh tackle on Sergio Busquets which caused him an ankle injury as the Barça coach pointed out: “The bad news is Busquets’ injury but at the end of the day it doesn’t seem so serious. Tomorrow there will be more tests. To replace Busquets, I have many options such as Sergi Roberto, Rakitic, André Gomes, Mascherano...Today, I’ve liked Rakitic in that holding midfielder position, he has performed especially well”.
Busquets probably out for two weeks
After the game was known that Busquets suffered a sprain in the external lateral ligament of the right ankle and further tests will be necessary to determine the time the midfielder will be sidelined. Some media reports estimate he could be out for two weeks and probably miss the next four matches, thus complicating matters to Luis Enrique’s squad for the important clashes up ahead.