Luis Enrique: Messi is something unique

19 December 2016 01:37

Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique heaped praise Lionel Messi, who produced another magical performance in the Catalan derby win over Espanyol.

Messi made history at Camp Nou on Sunday, becoming the top goalscorer in the derby with his strike in Barca’s 4-1 LaLiga victory.

A sublime finish late in the game took Messi’s Catalan derby tally to 15, after two dazzling runs saw him assist Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba in the second half.

“We cannot get accustomed to what Leo Messi does,” said Luis Enrique.

“It is something unique and, here at the Camp Nou, it happens every 15 days.”

Suarez scored twice in the resounding win, opening the scoring in the 18th minute against Espanyol.

The Uruguayan doubled the lead in the 67th minute before Alba made it 3-0 just a minute later.

David Lopez reduced the deficit with 11 minutes remaining, but Messi restored Barca’s three-goal lead at the death as the Spanish champions stayed within three points of leaders Real Madrid, who have a match in hand following the Club World Cup.

“[We played] at a very high level,” Luis Enrique added.

“Espanyol set out their game as we expected, very compact at the back, something that always makes attacking more difficult.

“In the first half, we tired them out and, in the second, our best players showed up to unbalance the match.

“We more often play against teams who sit back in their own half.

“When they try to attack us, we look to take advantage of the spaces in behind with long passes. We have the ideal players to do it.”

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