En­rique: ‘I am the one re­spon­si­ble’ for loss

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

BARCA boss Luis En­rique ad­mit­ted he must take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the Span­ish cham­pi­ons’ shock home de­feat to newly pro­moted Alaves af­ter start­ing Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench.

En­rique made seven changes on Septem­ber 10 af­ter many of his squad re­turned to club duty af­ter tak­ing part in World Cup qual­i­fiers around the world in the past week, while Messi was also strug­gling with a mi­nor groin in­jury.

“I am the one ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for all the bad things that hap­pen,” said the Barca boss af­ter suf­fer­ing just his fifth home league de­feat in three sea­sons in charge at the Camp Nou.

“Many of the changes came from the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing us, but we have 22 play­ers and we are go­ing to use ev­ery­one this sea­son.”

As well as leav­ing out Messi and Suarez, En­rique changed his en­tire back four, while goal­keeper Jasper Cil­lessen and striker Paco Al­cacer made their de­buts.

Deyver­son beat Cil­lessen from close range to hand Alaves a sur­prise lead be­fore half-time, but Jeremy Mathieu brought Barca back into the game when he headed home Ney­mar’s cor­ner a minute into the sec­ond half.

Mathieu some­how then blasted wide when it seemed eas­ier to score from an­other set-piece be­fore Barca’s makeshift de­fence was caught out once more when Ibai Gomez slot­ted home the win­ner.

En­rique called upon Messi, Suarez and An­dres Ini­esta from the bench, but even they couldn’t break Alaves’ re­sis­tance as Messi fired wide deep into stop­page time.

“We lacked flu­id­ity, pre­ci­sion and we were fragile in de­fence, which is one of the things that nor­mally makes us strong,” added En­rique.

“The one pos­i­tive is it is a time to re­flect on what this team has won over the years. Ev­ery­one makes us favourites for ev­ery­thing, but it is not easy to win any game.”

En­rique is ex­pected to re­vert back to his strong­est line-up for Celtic’s visit to the Camp Nou to start their Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign.

The Scot­tish club will be high on con­fi­dence af­ter thrash­ing old ri­vals Rangers 5-1 on Septem­ber 10.

“It’s clear it wasn’t our best game. They didn’t have many chances but they were very ef­fec­tive,” said mid­fielder Ser­gio Bus­quets.

“We lacked a spark, we lacked a lot of things. It is hard to say it is a de­served de­feat be­cause they also didn’t cre­ate a lot.”

Photo: AFP

Barcelona’s Brazil­ian for­ward Ney­mar lies on the pitch af­ter miss­ing a goal dur­ing the Span­ish league foot­ball match FC Barcelona vs De­portivo Alaves at the Camp Nou sta­dium in Barcelona on Septem­ber 10.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.