Champions League

Luis Enrique plays down Iniesta's influence

2016-12-07 10:49
Andres Iniesta.(Getty Images)

Cape Town - Luis Enrique said that Andres Iniesta's comeback was not a big factor in their form after Barcelona eased past Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League.

When asked about Iniesta's passing numbers from their 4-0 win in their final group game on Tuesday, the Barca manager said: "Statistics in football sometimes make very little sense."

Iniesta came on as a substitute in their 1-1 draw against Real Madrid in the Clasico at the weekend and started their final Champions League group match after a six-week layoff due to injury.

He played nearly an hour as the manager gave time to players who have not had many recent opportunities, with their place atop Group C guaranteed before the match.

Barca won three of seven games while Iniesta was out and he was pivotal against Monchengladbach, completing 108 of 119 passes.

"Iniesta is a player capable of beating a man with the ball, finding passes between the lines ... he added what Iniesta always adds, but the team have had the same ideas as always," Enrique said.

"I am satisfied with the speed of the circulation of the ball. We played nearly the whole game in the opposition half."

Lionel Messi's 10th goal of this Champions League opened the scoring and Arda Turan scored a hat-trick.

"The players had a lot to lose, but I think it was one of the games we've been most precise in, in terms of ball circulation, which is good news."

Enrique said the team was aiming to capitalise on their form, especially at home.

"We want to continue in this manner and improve, above all, at Camp Nou."

All the Group C positions were set ahead of the final round, with Manchester City the other side to advance.

The draw for last-16 fixtures is to be made on Monday next week.

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Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
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Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
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PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
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Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
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