Luis Enrique unhappy with Barcelona's first half despite win

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique admitted his side were fortunate to take all three points from a difficult game at Malaga.

Barcelona Luis Enrique Malaga

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique Source: Getty Images

The coach gave a scathing assessment of his team's first-half display, even though Munirs close-range finish gave them the lead after just 64 seconds.

Juanpi levelled for the hosts later in the first half, while Lionel Messi volleyed in shortly after the break to give Barca a 2-1 win that temporarily takes them back to the top of the Primera Division.

"It'll be difficult for us to play as badly as we did in that first half, we made so many bad passes," he told a press conference.

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"It was incredible that we scored so early and that changed the game and afterwards we were in a terrible situation. I can't remember such a poor first-half performance from us, and some will say that was down to Malaga's good performance, and others will say it was because we were so bad.

"It was one of those days when everyone messed up, it was a bad display in general. We always find it tough to play against Malaga, but I'll remember our second-half performance, when we improved, even though we still made mistakes. The good thing is that we won without playing well."

Barca have struggled in each of the four games they have played against Malaga since Luis Enrique took over the Catalan side and Javi Gracia became the coach of the Andalusian outfit, losing at the Nou Camp last year and drawing at the Rosaleda, while this season they picked up narrow wins home and away.

"Our opponents played very well today, Gracia always causes us problems," Luis Enrique said.

"They managed the game well and found spaces in our defence. They were tough opponents and we are going home feeling very happy. Gracia is a coach who works really hard with his teams and always knows what he's looking for. Winning without playing well and at such a difficult place is vital for us and will make us stronger."

Andres Iniesta meanwhile agreed that Barca had enjoyed their share of good fortune over the 90 minutes.

"We went into the dressing room at half-time level which was perhaps a bit undeserved considering how the two teams had played," he told Spanish television network Movistar.

"Then things changed in the second half, we were more solid and played like we have been playing recently. We made a lot of imprecise passes and we weren't comfortable. Malaga were very well organised and made the most of our stray passes.

"This shows how hard it is to win the league. Today was a very important game for us and taking the three points allows us to stay at the top."

Malaga boss Gracia meanwhile was positive about his side's performance, although admitted he felt they should have got a better result.

"We feel we could have deserved more, but against a team like Barcelona you will always pay dearly if you make mistakes," he said.


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3 min read
Published 24 January 2016 at 4:54am
Source: PA Sport