Luis Enrique hailed the attacking intent of youngsters Munir and Sandro Ramirez as the Barcelona duo combined for five goals in the 6-1 Copa del Rey last-32 victory over Villanovense.
The Barca coach selected several fringe players for the Camp Nou clash on Wednesday but his side were rarely tested against the Segunda B strugglers.
Sandro netted a hat-trick and Munir scored twice to round off Dani Alves’ early opener and Luis Enrique was quick to praise the forwards’ displays.
“It was a game in which the team responded and the crowd did too,” he said after the 6-1 aggregate win.
“He [Sandro] has always been a goalscorer. I am happy with the performances of both players. They have to improve in many areas but they are young and I see them with the right attitude to do that.”
Luis Enrique defended his decision not to use a substitute for the final minutes of the game despite an injury to Jeremy Mathieu leaving Barca with just 10 players on the pitch, claiming no lack of respect was intended as Lionel Messi sat out the tie.
“I understand the players on the subs’ bench were not warmed up,” he said.
“I look after the health of my, they [Villanovense] have been a worthy rival and we had to give everything to get through the tie.
“Messi played 30 minutes in the [Santiago] Bernabeu, 90 against Roma and 90 against Real Sociedad, I didn’t want to overload him. We decided it was for the best and we considered it the best for the team.”