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SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISIÓN

2016/2017 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
1 Real Madrid 29 6 3 93
2 Barcelona 28 6 4 90
3 Atletico 23 9 6 78
View Full Table »

Barcelona defenders 'adapting' to Luie Enrique's new system - Gerard Pique

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona took advantage of the extra man to best Valencia at Camp Nou.

Barcelona defenders Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti defended the Catalan side's new system but admitted it does make them more vulnerable.

Luis Enrique switched to a back three after the 4-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain and results since, excluding last weekend's loss to Deportivo La Coruna, have been impressive.

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They have scored six, five, six and four in consecutive home games, but the latter of those four matches against Valencia on Sunday also revealed the flaws to the new formation.

Munir El Haddadi, on loan at Valencia from Barca, took advantage of the space left in defence to make it 2-2 at Camp Nou, before Luis Enrique's side went on to win 4-2.

"They're the risks we take," Pique said when asked about the Blaugrana's impressive attacking leaving them more open at the back.

"We are an offensive team, we like to attack, but that comes with consequences.

Gerard Pique Valencia
Gerard Pique and the Barcelona defence were left exposed at times on Sunday.

"So at the back we suffer a little more because there's more space behind us and at the moment we're adapting to it.

"To be a Barca defender comes with a special responsibility and those are the risks you have to take."

Umtiti, who played in the back three against Valencia alongside Javier Mascherano and Pique, is also comfortable with the new system despite it making the defenders' work more difficult.

"With the 3-4-3 we are exposed defensively, so [as defenders] we have to balance our positioning and our movements well," he said.

"After losing to Depor we needed to win and now after the international break come the games that we all look forward to competing in."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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