Champions League

Enrique delighted with Barca

2015-04-16 08:26
Luis Enrique (Supplied)

Paris - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique admitted he could scarcely have hoped for a better performance after his side blew away Paris Saint-Germain with a 3-1 victory in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.

The Spanish league leaders ended PSG's 33-game unbeaten home run in Europe stretching back to 2006 as Neymar opened the scoring in the first half at the Parc des Princes before Luis Suarez added a superb double in the second half, leaving next week's return leg looking like little more than a formality.

"We were superior in midfield, were dangerous going forward and defended well as a team. It was a very complete performance from us," said Enrique, who was not too concerned about the late consolation conceded when Jeremy Mathieu deflected a Gregory van der Wiel shot into his own net.

"I would be happier if we hadn't conceded the goal, but we didn't get much luck with it. It caught out our goalkeeper, but I wouldn't change our game tonight, even if a 3-0 would have been perfect."

PSG will need to score at least three goals to stand a chance of progressing to the semi-finals when they go to the Camp Nou for the second leg next Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Barcelona are refusing to take anything for granted, especially as PSG will be boosted by the return from suspension of both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti for the second leg.

"They will get players back, so I am sure the tie is not finished yet. We are not going to make the mistake of thinking it is over," said the coach.

"They will have nothing to lose. As always, we will try to win at the Camp Nou and clinch a place in the semi-finals."

Enrique resisted the temptation to heap praise on Suarez, even if the Uruguayan's two second-half goals ultimately made the difference.

The former Liverpool striker's double in the French capital leaves him with 11 goals in Barcelona's last 11 matches, including a crucial brace in the 2-1 last-16 first-leg win at Manchester City and the winner in the recent Clasico victory over eternal rivals Real Madrid.

In comparison, over the same period, Lionel Messi has scored eight times and Neymar merely four.

"I have seen Suarez score goals like that for Ajax and Liverpool. He is strong and finishes like a centre-forward. But all the players played their part tonight, and when we play like that it is difficult to beat us."


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