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On Friday afternoon, FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique spoke plainly about the dangers of Deportivo, who had harvested two draws in their last pair of visits to Camp Nou, not to mention they were the top team in La Liga from a goals-against standpoint, and, on top of it all, his team had been split up for the better part of two weeks for international duty while Los Gallegos had been afforded the same amount of time to prepare for Saturday’s game as a unit.
So, after taking all of that into account and still coming away with a 4–0 win, Luis Enrique had to be satisfied.
“We knew what the game required,” he said. “And the players came out and did what they needed to do.”
A look at the stat sheet says it all. Luis Enrique, however, didn’t need to see it.
“They didn’t create any scoring chances and we did,” he said. “That’s what we wanted to do and we did it.”
Here are the highlights from the post-game press conference.
“We wanted to get out with three players and use that to open up the field out on the wings.”
“Having players come off the bench and perform at a high level is one of the keys to the season.”
“We wanted to avoid making the same mistakes we’ve made in previous seasons [against Deportivo], and we put the game away early in the second half with our fourth goal.”
“We got Messi back and everyone saw it took him very little time to get back to his best level.”
“I have no doubts about Paco Alcácer. He’s had some very clear chances but has been unlucky. I remember some other players like Luis Suárez who also had a tough time getting that first goal, and you only need to see the numbers.”
“It’s great that Rafinha and others can play and perform at more than one position. Those variables are great for the players and the team.”