Champions League

Enrique frustrated with Roma display

2015-09-17 11:35
Luis Enrique. Photograph: Getty Images.
Luis Enrique. Photograph: Getty Images.

Rome - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique admitted his frustration at Champions League Group E rivals Roma.

The Serie A side's solid defensive display earned the Italians a hard-fought point from a thrilling 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

Barely four months after sweeping Juventus aside 3-1 to win the final in Berlin, Barcelona set their sights on beating another Serie A side into submission as they look to become the first side since AC Milan in 1990 to win back-to-back European titles.

But despite a dominant performance throughout, the Catalans were left frustrated as Bayer Leverkusen, 4-1 winners over BATE Borisov, went two points clear at the top of the group.

In what was Lionel Messi's 100th Champions League appearance, the Argentine was upstaged by Alessandro Florenzi's stunning leveller for the hosts from just inside the halfway line on 31 minutes.

Enrique, who spent a fruitless season as coach of Roma in the 2011-2012 season, said: "I would have expected us to come up against a more attacking team. Instead, they chose a different approach.

He added: "I'm satisfied with how we played, we created a lot of chances and when your opponents close up at the back it's not easy."

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez said: "We know Italian teams. They close up at the back and it becomes very difficult to find space to score goals.

"We controlled the game in possession and created a lot of chances. They managed to score from distance, but they were lucky there too."

Given Barcelona's firepower, and the fact Roma were humiliated by a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in January, the Giallorossi had every reason to go on the defensive.

Despite a series of counter-attacks by Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah offering promise early on, Barcelona gradually settled into their trademark possession and passing game to leave the Stadio Olimpico eerily silent as fans watched in awe.

A day after seeing Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo overtake their shared record of 77 goals in the competition with a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk, Messi was on the hunt for goals.

But despite dipping and skipping his way past opponents to set up chance after chance, Roma's defence - and a superb display by the hosts' goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny before he suffered an injury early in the second half - Messi was not to be satisfied.

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