Monday, January 16, 2017

Luis Enrique shoulders responsibility for shock Alaves defeat

SoccerNews in La Liga 10 Sep 2016

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Luis Enrique says he must shoulder the blame after his Barcelona side lost 2-1 to promoted Deportivo Alaves at Camp Nou on Saturday.

With a Champions League clash against Celtic coming up on Tuesday, Luis Enrique made wholesale changes to his line-up, with both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez benched, though Neymar did start following his return from a successful Olympic campaign with Brazil.

However, Barca fell behind shortly before half-time when Deyverson slotted home from close range, and despite an equaliser from Jeremy Mathieu – who should have netted a second soon after – it was Alaves who took the points when Ibai Gomez drilled in following a slaloming run.

And Luis Enrique was quick to admit his mistakes, indicating he underestimated Mauricio Pellegrino’s side.

“It all pointed to us as being the favourite, but this stumbling serves to remind [us] how hard it is to land a victory,” he said.

“In the victories there is talk of key individual players, but in the defeats there is only the talk about the coach.

“I am responsible for the defeat. A defeat that serves to make us learn and think. We were wrong, inaccurate – they scored two goals from three attempts.

“I am the head of all the bad things that happen. Many of the changes were a result of circumstances that surround us. I try to get the best out of all my team.

“I had not had contemplated the option Alaves played with, 5-4-1, he [Pellegrino] had not used it up to now. It was difficult for us against opponents [who] we have to congratulate.”

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