Gerard Pique believes Barcelona have improved this season because the presence of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in attack takes the onus of them to always be on the front foot.
The Catalans were renowned for their preference to dominate play and enjoy the large of majority of possession, but they have added another dimension to their game under head coach Luis Enrique, much to the delight of Pique.
“We have more options now than before. We still want to control possession of the ball and the rhythm of the game. I think we are always creating scoring chances,” centre-back Pique told the UEFA’s website.
“But I think that this new option of feeling more comfortable defending a bit deeper and playing on the counter-attack gives us the chance to score like we did at the Emirates for the first goal against Arsenal. That is a good example of it.
“I think this gives us something different that we did not have before. I remember it used to be harder for us to sit back and defend. We didn’t really like it and it made us feel uncomfortable.
“Now we feel more comfortable in that role, knowing that we have three players up there who are very quick and will take advantage of any counter-attack. We know now that with or without the ball we have options to win the game.”
Barca sit top of La Liga, are through to the Copa del Rey final and face a last-eight showdown with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.