Barcelona coach Luis Enrique hailed a vital victory as his players edged closer to La Liga glory with a 2-0 triumph against Real Sociedad.
A staunch defensive effort from the visitors frustrated Barcelona during the first half but Neymar broke the deadlock six minutes after the interval before substitute Pedro scored a magnificent overhead kick in the closing stages.
A 2-2 draw for closest rivals Real Madrid against Valencia later on Saturday means Barca are four points clear at the summit with two matches remaining – fixtures currently in a state of flux due to proposed strike action in relation to Spanish football’s latest television rights agreement.
“They were three vital points for us,” Luis Enrique told reporters, as quoted by AS
“We knew the difficulty of the game. [Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo] Rulli has played a great game in the first half and then in the second, fatigue appears. Real are a great team and we knew it would be very difficult.”
Wednesday night’s superb 3-0 win over Bayern Munich left Barcelona with one foot in the UEFA Champions League final and they will contest the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao, although that too could be affected by strikes.
Luis Enrqiue believes his squad is equipped to complete a final charge for silverware on three fronts, while reserving praise for his defence and the spectacular finale provided by Pedro
“Physically the team is very good,” he added. “We have got players of substance who have been very good.
“We carried on a good run without conceding and the players know that it is very important not to concede.
“I can only speak marvellous things of Pedro. He is a top class player. This year he is playing less than he deserves but he always delivers. He is a full professional and a pleasure to coach. His goal was tremendous.”
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