Luis Enrique watches his from the sideline at Ipurua. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

FC Barcelona got the perfect result from their first ever visit to Eibar, a 2–0 win that keeps them top of the league table. Leo Messi got both goals against an Eibar side that defended pluckily. “It was a very special visit,” said manager Luis Enrique afterwards. “It was our first ever trip to Ipurua, in a very special setting.” He also discussed why he fielded Sergi Roberto as a defensive midfielder and the two huge games, looming on the horizon, against Manchester City and Real Madrid.

The following are highlights of what he had to say at his post-match press conference:

On a difficult opponent:

“You must try to be dominant and effective in every match. Our opponent didn’t make it at all easy for us, and it’s essential to be effective in cases like this.”

“Eibar didn’t look like a team that have just lost seven in a row. They played good football and fully deserved their great start to the season. I don’t think they’ll have any trouble avoiding relegation.”

“Perhaps we rushed things at times, but the way the game went, I think we played well and took it as seriously as we should have.”

On playing Sergi Roberto:

“He had a spectacular game, especially with the difficulty of not having played much this season. He has everything we need from a pivot: quality, good dribbling, he performs his defensive duties and is good in the air.”

“It’s a shame I can’t play him more, but he has always been up to the job when called upon and has shown that he can be an important player for Barça.”

On the week ahead:

“This will be a very nice week with two games in front of our fans, but it is not the most important week.”

“We’re going into the Clásico as leaders and in perfect form. But first, we have to focus on City because qualification is at stake. Then we’ll see what happens at the weekend.”

Effectiveness and dominance the keys for Luis... per fcbarcelona
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