Luis Enrique has challenged his Barcelona players to respond to the 1-0 loss against Real Sociedad.
The defeat allowed Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to get back into the title race. Barcelona had a 10 point advantage over Real Madrid only a few weeks ago. The draw against Villarreal and coupled with these defeats against Madrid and Real Sociedad have pulled them back into the midst of battle. The team needs to recover quickly or face the prospect of teams overtaking them. After scoring freely in the first half of the campaign, Enrique has found himself in a tight situation.
Barcelona is actually a team which is known for snatching points from the opposition and not for handing out points.
But, on Saturday, when they were playing Madrid, the latter was the case as the Catalan giants tasted their 4th defeat in the Spanish top tier in the 2015-16 Season.
Defeat itself was indigestible, but, more than that, the position from which it came, it would have been dispiriting and would probably cause a few of the Barcelona players lose a couple of nights’ sleep.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique says that he will not rush forward Neymar back from injury.
The Brazilian recently suffered a groin strain while preparing for the game against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. The 23-year-old has been in fine form this season and it has not been surprising to see him nominated as one of the potential candidates to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award. He has scored an astonishing 16 goals in 18 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions. Enrique decided not to risk a number of his regular first team players for the game against the German club.
Barcelona players rarely speak about having affection towards Real Madrid and this is the case once again with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
After proving to be a hit in his first season with the Catalan club, the German goalkeeper is looking forward to more first-team opportunities at the Camp Nou. He helped the club win the Champions League, while he was the second choice goalkeeper in the league matches. The young age of the German is likely to convince Luis Enrique that he will be the permanent replacement for Victor Valdes.
Chelsea was knocked out of the Champions League after losing against PSG in the round of 16 stages of the European competition.
It was thrilling match from start till the very end and even though it was the French team that managed to come out on top with the victory as they secured their ticket into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, this triumph came at a cost as Zlatan Ibrahimovic received a red card and he will not be able to perform in the upcoming quarter-finals match of PSG against Barcelona.