Luis Enrique hails 'effective' Barcelona as Neymar, Luis Suarez star vs. BATE
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique praised his attackers' "effectiveness" after Neymar and Luis Suarez excelled in Wednesday evening's 3-0 Champions League win against BATE Borisov to keep his side in full control of Group E.
Neymar opened the scoring 30 minutes in at the Camp Nou by tricking visiting goalkeeper Sergei Chernik from the penalty spot, and Suarez made it 2-0 on the hour when taking Neymar's pass and firing in from the edge of the area.
Their roles were reversed late on with the Uruguay international assisting for the Brazil captain to finish from close range, with the pair once again stepping up in the absence of injured talisman Lionel Messi.
Without getting too carried away, the Blaugrana coach told Beinsports Espana after the game that he was satisfied with how his team had showed good "effectiveness" in attack in recent games without Messi.
"I am satisfied with the game," Luis Enrique said. "We created some good play in midfield, maybe should have created a few more chances.
"We had no doubt that we were going to get our effectiveness back, for the quality of the players we have up front, the quality in the team.
"It is about whether you take your chances or not. The results are coming and we are going well. But we always miss Messi, even if the team has other options."
Neymar: "We miss Leo, because he's the best. But I'm in a great moment and I am confident I'll continue like this." pic.twitter.com/B5JHZ15geb- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 4, 2015
The only low point for Barca was an early injury for Ivan Rakitic, with a club statement saying the Croatia midfielder has a "little tear in the right calf muscle" which rules him out of Sunday's La Liga game with Villarreal.
Reports in Spain indicate that Rakitic may be out for up to a month, which could rule him out of the Nov. 21 Clasico at Real Madrid.
Luis Enrique admitted it was disappointing to lose another midfielder to injury having just got Andres Iniesta and Sergi Roberto back fit, but thinks it is too early to know how long Rakitic would be out for.
"Whenever a player is injured it is not good," he said. "It happened at the start of the game, we will have to see what the doctors say, how the player is. But he's out of the next game for sure.
"We are having many problems in that area [midfield], it is not good, makes it harder to rest other players. The objective will be to get [Rakitic] fit again, not back for any particular game."
With 10 points from their first four games, Barca can now ensure qualification as group winners if they beat Roma at home in their next Champions League game on Nov. 24.
"There are many positive things," Luis Enrique said. "It is never easy to win in the Champions League, always difficult. Our objective now is to beat Roma."
For the moment though, Luis Enrique said all thoughts of the Clasico and Champions League would be banished, adding: "I am only worried about the next game, Villarreal on Sunday. There are no other games in my head."