Luis Enrique felt a calculated tactical gamble paid off for Barcelona after they ran out 5-1 winners at Leganes.
Barca lined up without a recognised right-back and the decision to rest Sergio Busquets meant Luis Enrique fielded an unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation that wobbled under early pressure.
But Lionel Messi settled nerves thanks to a 15th-minute opener and, with Luis Suarez and Neymar in on the act before half-time, another shock reverse to follow last weekend’s home loss against Alaves was off the agenda.
“The tactical set up did have its risks but we faced up to it and I’m proud,” said Luis Enrique, who watched Messi net his fifth goal of the week from the penalty spot following a hat-trick against Celtic, before Rafinha scored with a wonderful long-range strike.
“We’ve been inspired. We made use of the space and we were switched on from the start.
“The victory is a major victory, like all others, against a difficult rival who hindered us with high pressure.
“We had to seize the spaces and try to create one-on-one situations.
“With three defenders you can suffer complications in defence, facing a three-on-three was a risk but they had to face the same with our strikers.
“I didn’t see anything strange in the three-man defence. I did many changes because we played four days ago and I’m thinking about Atletico Madrid right now.”
Atleti visit the Camp Nou on Wednesday and Luis Enrique is determined to keep his players fresh having watched them fade in the home straight and risk ceding the title last season.
“We have to manage the workloads of players with the obligation to win and be competitive,” he added.
“To successfully meet our targets over such a long season we need all the players. With 11 alone, we cannot cope with it.”
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