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La Liga 2016-17: Luis Enrique happy with team despite dropping points against Malaga

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Despite dominating possession against a team reduced to 9 men, the Blaugrana failed to create any good scoring opportunities.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19:  Luis Enrique, Manager of FC Barcelona reacts during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Malaga CF at Camp Nou stadium on November 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Enrique was also questioned over the dismal form of Paco Alacer

Barcelona Manager Luis Enrique remained rather upbeat despite his players dropping two points against Malaga in a lacklustre draw. In a game where the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both missed out, Luis Enrique’s side had their work cut out for them. Despite dominating possession against a team reduced to 9 men, the Blaugrana failed to create any good scoring opportunities, which resulted in the draw.

When asked about the match, the Barcelona manager played it very carefully. “In terms of chances and the way we played, we were superior to the rival,” he said. “But if you don’t score, you don’t deserve to win the game. If you generate 28 chances and don’t score, you will have to generate 38.”  

Also Read: Gerard Pique says there is no excuse for Barcelona draw

His praise on a draw comes a little over 2 months after he blamed himself for a shocking loss against Alaves, and Enrique was quick to ensure that everyone understood clearly that the draw had ‘nothing’ to do with the loss.

“If I was critical then, now, no, because we had chances and tried until the end against a really deep rival. We didn’t get the prize that we deserved. There was only one team on the pitch and I can only congratulate my players. Now to pick ourselves up and improve. There’s no other way. “

He was also questioned over the dismal form of Paco Alacer, and the manager quickly jumped in to protect the 23-year old striker. “Paco was as good as the rest of my players, there’s no Coca-Cola formula here, for a player to score goals he needs minutes. 

“I’m happy with him and I hope he keeps improving. But to hope for anything else is illogical. I’m delighted with Paco and with the team.”

Neymar, however, cut a lone figure, with Argentinian star Lionel Messi out with an illness and Luis Suarez suspended, in a game that would’ve been vital in Barcelona’s title bid. There was little he could do, but Enrique decided to play down the signficance of the two stars. “We have lost with Lionel Messi, with Luis Suarez, without Lionel Messi, without Luis Suarez. Squads win titles. “

Barcelona’s draw is Real Madrid’s gain

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates with teammates after scoring Real's 3rd goal during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Vicente Calderon Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Barcelona’s game against Malaga was seen as a very important match where 3 points were there for the taking as on paper, it should have been an easy one. They went into the game knowing that the Madrid derby that took place later would drastically affect the table.

What followed was bitter disappointment for Barcelona, as a Cristiano Ronaldo show propelled Real Madrid to a three nil win over their domestic rivals Atletico. With the Los Blancos gaining an important 4 point lead over Luis Enrique’s side, and the El Clasico coming up on the 3rd of December, there is a lot more work to be done for the three biggest clubs in Spain.


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