REA­SON FOR FAIL­URE

In­con­sis­tency costs Barcelona ti­tle, says coach En­rique

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BARCELONA’S in­con­sis­tency over the sea­son had cost them the La Liga ti­tle, coach Luis En­rique has said. A sec­ond half come­back from two goals down to beat Eibar 4-2 on the fi­nal day of the sea­son proved fu­tile as Real beat Malaga 2-0 to end a five-year run with­out the ti­tle.

Barca took 14 points from 18 in their six games against Spain’s top four sides Real, Sevilla and Atletico. Real picked up just eight in the cor­re­spond­ing games.

The Cata­lans, how­ever, proved less re­li­able against sup­pos­edly weaker op­po­si­tion, drop­ping points against Real Betis, Real So­ciedad, Celta Vigo, De­portivo La Coruna, Alaves and Malaga. Madrid took max­i­mum points from those games.

“We haven’t ended the sea­son as we wanted. La Liga is 38 games long and it re­wards con­sis­tency. We were not con­sis­tent enough,” Luis En­rique told a news con­fer­ence.

“Es­pe­cially ear­lier in the sea­son at home and we have paid for that. We didn’t de­pend on our­selves. We fought un­til the very end and now we con­grat­u­late the wor­thy cham­pi­ons.

“Who­ever wins the league is the wor­thy win­ner. We know where we fell short, but this is how it is in the top com­pe­ti­tions.”

Barca sup­port­ers un­veiled a huge ban­ner be­fore the game in trib­ute to the coach, who spent eight sea­sons with the club as a player, in his last league match in charge be­fore tak­ing a sab­bat­i­cal.

He won a tre­ble in his first sea­son in charge in 2014/15 and a dou­ble in his sec­ond cam­paign, but this week’s King’s Cup fi­nal against Alaves is his only chance of sil­ver­ware in his fi­nal sea­son.

“I think the team have done great things through­out the sea­son but un­for­tu­nately the line that sep­a­rates vic­tory and de­feat is very small, as we have found out,” he added.

“I wish we could have kept win­ning tro­phies but there are other teams that want the same and are at the same level as us.” Reuters

AFP PIC

Barca play­ers are a pic­ture of de­jec­tion de­spite beat­ing Eibar af­ter learn­ing Real Madrid had re­lieved them of La Liga ti­tle.

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