LA LIGA | BARCELONA - ESPANYOL | ENRIQUE
"A league with more challengers would be better"
Luis Enrique spoke after his side's 5-1 win over Espanyol and said he is now focusing in making PSG "suffer more in defence than in Paris."
"Only 17?," Luis Enrique asked with a smile when asked about the measures taken by Real Madrid proposing the expulsion of 17 people involved in anti-Leo Messi and anti-Barcelona chanting at Real's home game against Celta Vigo on Saturday. Speaking to the press after his side's 5-1 home victory over city rivals Espanyol on Sunday, Enrique elaborated: "I think it's good. I back any anti-violence measures." But the Barcelona coach, who was on the receiving end of plenty himself when he returned to the Bernabéu as a Barça player, admits that putting an end to chants against rivals is "utopian."
"If we throw out everyone who insults people during football we'll be left on our own, even without players." he said. "Everything against violence in football is welcome. It's not over the top to go after them but I don't know where we draw the line. There are insults at every stadium in Spain. We should try and control what we can like acts of violence, but we are all good people until our passion for our team comes out."
First half: "Until the goal it was a quiet game, which we are used to because opposition teams tend to shut up shop. When we conceded doubt started to creep in and we couldn't turn the game around. The key was in equalizing just before the break. In the second half it was much easier."
Messi: "You quickly get used to having decisive players in your team."
Xavi-Rakitic: "We look at playing qualities and there's not much difference in playing on the left or the right. We are always looking for balance. We want them to switch around because it's good for the team."
PSG: "I don't know if the conditions are perfect, but they're very good. For us the game on Wednesday is perfect. We have to win and we'll go out and compete as the match deserves."
Messi-Ronaldo duel: "That's a question for them. What we want is for Leo to help out the team and not just in attack. He gets fully involved and that is important for Barça."
Three-horse Liga: "A league with more challengers would be better, but this is the league we have. When I am not coach of Barcelona I hope that happens, it's better for entertainment."
Team: "The side has played competitively in all the league matches so far. After the Bernabéu there were better games and worse games. But from there we are in a positive position."
Implementing game plan: "I attribute that to the spirit within the team. It's good to tire out the opposition from the start, when they are fresh. It's not the same to go into half time with an advantage as it is with the score level. Equalizing gave us more strength. I saw that the team were up for the comeback. We changed a couple of things at the start of the second half."
White handkerchiefs to protest Neymar penalty decision: "They got the handkerchiefs out due to a flu epidemic in Barcelona."
PSG: "We know the opposition well and they have Ibra back and have rested several players. We hope they suffer more in defence here than they did at the Parc des Princes."