Barcelona coach Luis Enrique knows all too well what the response will be to his team’s 2-1 defeat away to Sevilla on Saturday and has already promised fans the title-holders will improve.
Despite being without superstar Lionel Messi, who is out for approximately two months due to a knee injury, Barca’s demanding supporters and Spain’s infamously unforgiving football press are unlikely to be kind to Luis Enrique and his beaten players following their narrow reverse at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
The result leaves the reigning champions third, three points behind surprise leaders Villarreal and just one point ahead of Real Madrid, both of whom are due to play on Sunday.
“Nobody can be happy with things when Barca lose – the objective is to get better,” Luis Enrique said..
“Our game is about controlling play. We don’t have the best numbers but I’m sure that’ll change in the coming games.”
Goals from Michael Krohn-Dehli and Vicente Iborra sealed the upset win for Sevilla, with Neymar netting what proved to be a consolation for Barca from the penalty spot 16 minutes from time.
The away team registered 28 shots and hit the woodwork three times, while also finding Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico in inspired form.
“It was a game in which we had a lot of chances. It’s almost unbelievable that we walk out of here with just one goal,” Luis Enrique said.
“Ten minutes in the second half … hurt us. Sevilla took advantage of the chances they had.
“You have to congratulate Sevilla on their effort and the final result.”
Last season’s La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League winners must now dwell on their disappointment throughout the international break, before resuming league action at home to Rayo Vallecano on October 17.
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