After beating Recreativo Huelva and drawing with Nice, Barça lost their first game of the preseason this evening in Geneva against a strong Napoli team. Manager Luis Enrique said afterwards that “I’m only highlighting what was positive”, adding that “it’s a shame about the slip at the end” in reference to Dzemaili’s late winner.
The coach also felt that “we played better than we did against Nice … We were the better team today but these things happen in football.” The game gave him a further chance to experiment with certain tactical options, as well as getting another close look at some of the younger players at the club. “All the players seem the same to me” he said. “You can’t tell who plays for the first team and who’s in the B team.”(On Bravo) Mistakes happen. It’ll merely go down as an anecdote
He also spoke in defence of Claudio Bravo, who made his debut just ten days after joining the squad for the first time. “He didn’t have much to do, but when he did, he came across as very safe” said the Asturian. As for the goal, “mistakes happen. It’ll merely go down as an anecdote.”
Luis Enrique also mentioned Messi, Neymar, Mascherano and Alves, who have all returned from their holidays, and especially wished to comment on the Brazilian full back. “I am delighted with his presence in the team” he said in response to rumours about his imminent departure.