Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was upbeat about his team’s performance, despite their 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.
The European champions had already sealed top spot in Group E heading to Germany on Wednesday and the likes of Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets were left on the bench.
With Neymar out through injury, Lionel Messi’s 20th-minute opener was cancelled out by Javier Hernandez at the BayArena, the result meaning Leverkusen exit the competition.
Despite being held to their second draw in as many games in all competitions, Luis Enrique was largely happy with what he saw.
“I felt positive about our performance,” he said.
“I wanted to give the players who have played the most minutes a rest and I saw good signs from us against a team that really had to win. The game was a litmus test for us.
“In the last 16 we’ll face whoever we’re lucky enough to be drawn with.”
Ivan Rakitic’s throughball set up Messi for the opening goal before Leverkusen fought back but failed to find the winner they needed to progress.
The Croatian midfielder was also pleased with Barca’s display.
“We were up against an aggressive Bayer Leverkusen,” Rakitic said.
“We put in a performance that will help us for the future.”
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