Lionel Messi provided another dazzling display as Barcelona FC knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League and coach Luis Enrique believes if it was not for “spectacular” goalkeeper Joe Hart the scoreline would have been a lot more emphatic.
The Argentine set up Ivan Rakitic for the only goal in the 1-0 victory and while he did not score himself he also entertained the Camp Nou crowd, though the coach felt failure to take their chances should be a warning for them.
“It was a great result for us. We scored early on and we didn’t have to take any risks,” Luis Enrique told a news conference. “We had so many chances that we didn’t take and it is not usual for a game like that with so much at stake.
“We were up against Hart who was spectacular and we also needed to be sharper in front of goal.
“We deserved to win by a much bigger scoreline.
“We looked to play more solidly in the second half but with City looking to push forward and stretch the game we had to try and take advantage of that and look to score as well.”
While Messi captured the headlines after the game, Luis Enrique pointed to the overall strong performance from the team.
“Messi is the best in the world without any doubt and for me the history of football,” he said.
“It is clearly a big plus for us, we are delighted and we have never tried to hide that.
“It is great to have a player at his level but to win titles you need to have a team behind him and to be able to play together which is what we have been able to do.”
Barca have now won 17 of their last 18 games in all competitions but Luis Enrique said their failure to take their chances against City could have cost them dearly.
“We were against top players and footballers that can create openings and we were not clinical enough,” he said.
“It was a close scoreline in the end which didn’t reflect the game and we need to improve on that.”