FC Barcelona manager commends his players for reducing the 2-0 deficit but expects difficult challenge in second leg at Camp Nou next week
FC Barcelona found themselves trailing 2-0 to Athletic Bilbao in Thursday evening’s Copa del Rey first leg. But the Catalans “were able to react and deserved a draw” as manager Luis Enrique said after a game in which Leo Messi managed to pull one goal back. The rest of the job will now have to be done at the Camp Nou next week.
Here’s the pick of the Barça boss’ other post-match quotes.
“The goal has given us a lot of oxygen, although we deserved to equalise from all the chances we created. But we were missing accuracy over the final metres”
“The return leg won’t be easy. We have to make sure we don’t concede at home and have to score ourselves”
“It was the worst possible scenario but we managed to gain control after the break. The second half was an example of what we need to do as a team”
“Athletic stayed loyal to their methods. It was high-pressure football and they always know how to cause problems”
“We struggled early on, and they made the most of two poor clearances from us. Two quick turnovers, and high pressure actions once they had the ball to move two goals up”
“In the first half, we managed to get into their area without creating any really clear-cut chances. And the half couldn’t have ended worse with us getting all those cards”
“The mood changed in the second half, we deserved a lot more, whether or not we were playing against nine men”
“Athletic make you change the way you bring the ball out of defence. You need to find such solutions to deal with games like these. Athletic put so much pressure on you that you need to limit the number of passes, make sure your well-positioned and play with intensity”