Luis Enrique hopes Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid on Saturday can serve as motivation when they host Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
The Catalans’ 39-match unbeaten run came to an end following Cristiano Ronaldo’s late winner at Camp Nou and the head coach wants them to bounce back in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
“We almost didn’t remember anymore how it felt to lose. I hope it can be an extra motivation to win again. I hope all my players can step it up a notch in the final stretch of the season because we will need it,” Luis Enrique said at a media conference.
“We put in a good performance against Madrid for 60 minutes. We lacked precision after the 1-1. But we should take into account Madrid are a serious rival. I have blind faith in my players. It would be wrong to only focus on the result.
“Atletico are a team of the highest level. That’s why they are here in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. They are able to compete with Barcelona and Madrid for a reason despite not having the same financial resources.
“Our goal is to beat Atleti and ideally without conceding. Atletico are a team that have several options. They can sit back, but can also press high up the pitch. Plus they are at a consistently high level for 90 minutes. They are a very complete team.”
Barcelona have won their last six games against Atletico Madrid in all competitions.
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