Mixed feelings for Luis Enrique after Barca win

2 February 2017 01:33

Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique said the Copa del Rey clash at Atletico Madrid could have been better but it also could have been worse for the holders.

Luis Enrique and Co. took a big step towards another final after edging hosts Atletico 2-1 in the opening leg of the semi-final on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez struck in the first half to put Barca in control, before Antoine Griezmann pulled a goal back just shy of the hour-mark in Madrid.

While happy with the away victory, Luis Enrique was hoping for a third goal to put the tie firmly out of sight.

“Barcelona could have sentenced the tie with a third goal, but we also could have conceded another,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“So it could have been better, but it also could have been worse.

“It would have been naive to think we could come to the Vicente Calderon and not suffer.

“Against a team of this level you have to hope that the minutes pass as quickly as possible and in our case that meant getting the ball into their half, keeping them far from our area and circulating the ball.

“They made life difficult for us and with their goal they keep themselves in the tie.”

“It is an enjoyable moment,” Luis Enrique continued. “The fact that Atletico’s ground is so tough means this result boosts the team.

“We started very well and understood how difficult those first few minutes were, as well as interpreting the game well and closing off the home side’s attacks.

“We were very effective in the first half. In the second half the pattern was similar, but we knew they would come and attack us and risk a lot.”

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