Neymar: Barcelona 'suffered a lot' in comeback victory over Leverkusen
Barcelona star Neymar said an unhappy Camp Nou atmosphere made it "more difficult" to come back to beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in Tuesday's Champions League Group E clash.
The Camp Nou crowd grew increasingly disgruntled as Roger Schmidt's tactically excellent Bayer side were 1-0 up deep into the second half against a Barca side already missing injured star Lionel Messi and who had lost Andres Iniesta to another injury.
Sergi Roberto (80) and Luis Suarez (82) turned the game on its head.
As it seemed like Bayer were set for a famous victory, supporters in the stadium began to whistle home players including goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen and defender Jeremy Mathieu, and even sideways passes from long-serving stalwarts like Sergio Busquets were barracked.
After Barca turned the game around through two quick goals from Sergi Roberto and Luis Suarez, Blaugrana coach Luis Enrique drew attention to the whistles, saying his 2014-15 Treble winning team should have more credit in the bank.
Neymar also told reporters after the game that the crowd reaction had not helped Barca's players -- who he admitted had "suffered" at times before coming through in the end.
"It is difficult when the fans are not with you, but we know they want more from us," Neymar said. "We will try and do what we can. I am very happy with the win. We suffered, suffered a lot to win the game, but the important thing was to win and we did everything to score the goals and in the end we won."
Suarez, who also scored both goals as Las Palmas were beaten 2-1 last weekend in the game in which Messi tore a ligament in his left knee, told Spanish TV that it was not the case that Barca needed a talisman to get them through without their usual match-winner.
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"Barca does not need a saviour, we need character and the team deserves praise for coming back against Leverkusen," Suarez said. "Scoring a goal makes you even happier, but above all the team's won.
"There are also always extra demands when someone like Messi is not there. Nobody is going to want to imitate Leo. Now the forwards who are there, Neymar, Sandro, Munir and myself, we must try and make sure we take the chances we get."
Suarez said that Messi would nevertheless need support from teammates and fans to help him through his recovery time.
"Leo is mentally strong," the former Liverpool player said. "He knows the injury was nothing to do with him. Although he is strong, we must help to lift him so that he returns to make the supporters happy."
Neymar also admitted that Barca had missed having their No. 10 on the pitch.
"[Messi] is fundamental and of course you notice him not being there," he said. "He is the best player in the world, makes chances and whenever a player of that quality is out we feel it."
However, this did not mean that Neymar now felt an extra added responsibility in games.
"No," he said. "I just do my work. We have to know how to win without him, and to win with him when he returns. We are all leaders. I did what I could on the pitch, helped my teammates to try and make chances."
Messi had spoken in the Blaugrana dressing room after the game, Neymar said.