“Rotations are necessary to fight on all fronts” "Piqué has a slight strain but we did not want to risk him”
FC Barcelona ran out 3-0 winners against Athletic Club at home in the league thanks to goals from Paco Alcácer, Leo Messi and Aleix Vidal. Barça have now reached 100 goals in all competitions this season and Luis Enrique at pains in his post-match appearance to point out that the win at Camp Nou and the enitre season rely on the strength of his whole squad. “To be able to compete and fight for trophies in all competitions, we need the whole squad,” he said after making several changes to the starting eleven for the visit of Athletic.
“Rotations? To win the league championship and fight for other trophies, you need the whole squad. The players who have featured less and came in today were top class and we have been able to rest some players for the upcoming fixtures. The three points are also marvelous.”
Despite the scoreline, Luis Enrique admitted it had been far from: “There’s never an easy game against Athletic, regardless of the result. Whether it’s at San Mamés or Camp Nou, when they have the ball they make us run, they are a tough team.
“We created enough chances to win the game, even though the scoreline is perhaps a little excessive given how much trouble they gave us. But we showed a great attitude and personality even though the pressure they put us under was oppressive.”
On a more personal note, the Barça boss was happy for one of his strikers to open his account in official competition. “I am delighted for Alcácer; he is always looking to get better. He took his goal well, it was a great finish and it will be great for him and the team,” said Luis Enrique.
Gerard Pique’s substitution was down to not taking risks rather anything serious. “In theory, Piqué has a slight strain but we did not want to risk him,” revealed the boss. He continued on the subject of injuries: “Rafinha has a nasty cut. I hope the two won’t be out but we will see how they get in the coming training sessions.”