Thursday, February 23, 2017

Busquets injury less severe than feared – Luis Enrique

SoccerNews in La Liga 22 Jan 2017

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique expressed his relief after learning that Sergio Busquets’ injury during the 4-0 victory over Eibar is not as serious as he had first thought.

Busquets was replaced after just 10 minutes of the game when he sustained ankle ligament damage following a challenge from Gonzalo Escalante.

Goals from his replacement Denis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar ensured Barca claimed an emphatic victory at Ipurua.

And Luis Enrique admitted he has a wealth of options at his disposal with the Catalan giants due to take on Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg on Thursday.

He said: “Busquets injury is not as serious as we thought and we claimed a very good result.

“Sergi Roberto, [Ivan Rakitic] and [Javier Mascherano] can play there [in Busquets’ position]. I will not complain that I have all the cards.

“I like Rakitic in the pivot position. He was especially good and I have also liked Arda [Turan]. They all contribute things to the benefit of the team.

“We have been able to give minutes to players who have not had so many minutes and give rest to others.”

The victory over Eibar saw Messi score his 28th goal of the season while Luis Suarez netted his 19th, but Luis Enrique said the scoreline did not reflect the difficulty of the test provided by their hosts.

He said: “I have seen many positive things, although at the beginning of the match we have been under pressure from Eibar. Then we managed to take that pressure off and create danger.

“Every time we have come to Ipurua we had to make a great game, even if the result says it seemed easy.”

Barcelona are two points behind LaLiga leaders Real Madrid, although the capital side have a game in hand, but Luis Enrique gave an optimistic assessment of his side’s title chances in the second half of the season.

He said: “The balance is good, always improvable, but we are ready to fight for every title.

“The goal is to improve and we have not yet hit a good stretch.”

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