Luis Enrique has bemoaned Barcelona’s injury woes after his side opened their La Liga title defence with a 1-0 victory at Athletic Bilbao.
Luis Suarez’s volley early in the second half at the San Mames was enough to seal the win for Barca, who had to cope with injuries to Dani Alves and Sergio Busquets during the match, with the latter expected to be out for several weeks.
And Luis Enrique is concerned at Barcelona’s growing casualty list, although it failed to take the gloss of his side’s display, signalling out Sergi Roberto, who filled in at right-back in place of Alves, for particular praise.
“We started this season at the same high level as we ended the previous one. We played a very complete game,” he said.
“This is a contact sport and we are not having much luck, although they don’t appear to be serious injuries, it does take a toll.
“The pre-season obliges us to start competitive football very early and that increases the risk of this happening.
“Sergi Roberto was subbed on very quickly but he played a great game and he was very mature even though he is a midfielder not a full back.
“Full-backs are important in our system, so it’s good that he got forward and created chances.”