Enrique indecisive on Messi-Neymar

Luis Enrique appeared to come unstuck after he was grilled by reporters for his decision to bench Lionel Messi and Neymar for Barcelona's trip to Real Sociedad.

La Blaugrana crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Anoeta on Sunday, but the fallout of the match centred around the South American pair's omission from the starting line-up, more so than their failure to close the gap on Real Madrid atop La Liga.

Enrique seemed to have acknowledged his error by bringing both forwards on in the second half, but his explanation for initially leaving out the duo ranged from not wanting to take risks on their fitness to hinting that he got his team wrong.

“It’s difficult to attack a team who have shut up shop, and La Real did more than normal once they went 1-0 up,” the Coach said.

“Repenting [for the decision not to start with Messi and Neymar] has no value. I took it so the players wouldn’t face any risks.

“I thought it was better not to take any risks. Whether or not I’d make the same decision again, I’ll never know.

"I always look at the bigger picture and considered it. After seeing the result, people may think otherwise about my judgment, which always seeks to serve the team’s best interests.

“I had the feeling the game would be difficult after the way it began. There weren’t too many scoring opportunities.

“The result isn’t fair, I think we deserved more. We didn’t have luck or clarity when taking our chances.”

Tags Barca Lionel Messi Luis Enrique Neymar Sociedad