Luis Enrique confesses Barcelona’s 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain was “our worst game in three years” as “I analysed that match like none before it.”
The Champions League last-16 first leg was regarded as the lowest point of Enrique’s reign at Barca, but speaking after Sunday’s 5-0 victory over Celta Vigo, not only did the Coach agree with the sentiment, he also made it clear his side were capable of stunning PSG.
“We were complete, very complete,” he began.
“I saw the players enjoy themselves. It was their best performance I’ve seen from them against Celta.
“They press you man to man, you don’t get a minute of freedom and that’s difficult.
“Sergi Roberto? Tonight, all players shone. Sergi Roberto, the three up top, Rafinha…
“All the players who got the chance to play did so at the highest level, and when you enjoy your football, you score goals. It was a complete performance from us and one that strengthens us.
“A good test for PSG? PSG will press us even more and not defend like Celta did. With wonderful circumstances, we can try [to turn things around] we’ll do so until the last minute.
“These fans appreciate these players and they communicate [their gratitude] to them. I’ve never seen a lack of attitude from my players and that’s why the fans believe we can stage a comeback.
“Even more relieved than I was yesterday? "Yesterday’s relief is the same as today’s. I’m confident that we’ll have a great end to the season and see the team perform at their best.
“Whether or not we can win trophies, we’ll see it at the end of the season.
“I don’t know if it was our best performance of the season, we’ve had some very good games, but this was certainly one of our best in recent months.
“If I had to write a script for Wednesday, it would be very similar: scoring goals, reinforcing ourselves. We’ll play to have a chance of getting back in the tie.
“How my announcement has affected the players? It’s a good thing that we had a great game, but I don’t think it’s had an impact.
“We’ve been professionals for many months and I’ve been trying to make the best of it for the last three months.
“Taking care of Iniesta? More and more, but he’ll be in the best shape for PSG, I’ve talked to him and it was better to give him 25 minutes. They were enough to get him ready.
“It’s not usual that they were so superior to us on the scoreboard and in the game.
“Our challenge against PSG is to prove we’re better than them and that we can repay our debts in 90 minutes.
“I have real faith that we’ll have a great game and get back into the tie. I don’t know which minute, but we’ll try.
“The first leg an accident? It’s a shame that we had our worst game in three years and I analysed that match like none before it.
“There were a lot of sporting things that accumulated, from sporting situations to personal ones that I can’t make public.
“What I felt when I was cheered by the fans? Normal, they’ve always loved me a lot. I’ve fallen for this club and I really appreciated it.”