BARÇA 2 - ATLÉTICO 1
Luis Enrique: "I was shocked by Filipe Luis' tackle on Messi"
Barça’s boss discussed the Brazilian’s red-card challenge after his side’s win over Atlético: "You saw my reaction, so you know what my thoughts were."
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique faced the media after his side’s 2-1 La Liga win over Atlético Madrid on Saturday afternoon.
And with Barça’s victory leaving them three points clear of Atleti at the top of the table with a game in hand – and with the better of the teams’ head-to-head record in the league this term – the Azulgranas’ boss was a happy man, despite his team’s inability to close the game out against nine men.
Assessment of the game: “We approached it as we always do, looking to go on the attack. But then things can pan out differently when you’re out on the pitch. We struggled to get going and went a goal behind with a chain of errors, but it woke us up and saw us close out the first half really well.”
“The aim in the second half was to try to kill the game off, because we were well aware of the difficulties they were capable of causing us. We found it a tough match right to the end. What I take away from the game is the team’s ability to dig in. We’re spoiled around here: it seems like if you don’t win 4-0 then you’ve had a terrible game. But the fans grasp that that’s not the case and that this is a fantastic result.”
Explanation for up-and-down Barça displays in recent games: “That’s football.”
Filipe Luis’ challenge on Leo Messi: “You saw my reaction, so you know what my thoughts were. I was shocked by it; but it happens in football.”
Do you think Claudio Bravo is the best goalkeeper in the division? “The top three keepers in La Liga are Bravo, [Marc-Andre] ter Stegen and Jordi Masip.”
Key save from Bravo: “It was equally as important as the goals that we scored. When you get games like today’s, it’s vital that you keep out the chances that the opposition get.”
Is it a major step towards the title? “It’s an important result for us, but there’s a long way to go in the La Liga season, and we’re all aware of how difficult every game is.”
What was lacking in the final 15-20 minutes? “Atleti showed an ability to keep themselves in the game right to the end.”
Luis Suárez: “He was already a highly complete player at Liverpool and has even managed to improve further here.”