Enrique delights in Barca depth

Luis Enrique praised the strength of his squad as a changed Barcelona side defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in La Liga action on Saturday.

Paco Alcacer, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal were all on target as Enrique rested some of his big names.

With the club still fighting on all fronts, it is vital they are able to rotate players, and Luis Suarez, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Denis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic all took their places on the Barca bench.

After the game, Enrique said: "To be able to compete and fight for trophies in all competitions, we need the whole squad.

"Rotations? To win the league championship and fight for other trophies, you need the whole squad. 

"The players who have featured less and came in today were top class and we have been able to rest some players for the upcoming fixtures. The three points are also marvellous.”

He added: "There’s never an easy game against Athletic, regardless of the result. Whether it’s at San Mamés or Camp Nou, when they have the ball they make us run, they are a tough team.

“We created enough chances to win the game, even though the scoreline is perhaps a little excessive given how much trouble they gave us. But we showed a great attitude and personality even though the pressure they put us under was oppressive.”

Enrique revealed that Gerard Pique was substituted as a precautionary measure with a thigh strain, in the 46th minute for Mascherano, but Rafinha was substituted, for Rakitic after 54 minutes with a broken nose after clashing with Ter Stegen.

He explained: "In theory, Pique has a slight strain but we did not want to risk him."

A Barca statement added: "The Club’s Medical Services have carried out tests and confirmed that the first team player Rafinha Alcantara has a fractured nose and his return will depend on how his injury heals."

Comments