'One of the best performances since I'm here' - Luis Enrique revels in Barca rout

By Peter Hanson 15 January 2017 116
'One of the best performances since I'm here' - Luis Enrique revels in Barca rout

Luis Enrique labelled Barcelona's 5-0 hammering of Las Palmas as one of the team's best performances under his stewardship.

The LaLiga champions were in sublime form at Camp Nou on Saturday, with Luis Suarez's double and goals from Lionel Messi, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal's first for the club doing the damage.

Barca have not always lived up to their own impeccable standards this term, but they were at their swashbuckling best on this occasion and head coach Luis Enrique was particularly thrilled with their defensive work.

"What I am most happy with is the team's performance without the ball," he told a post-match news conference.

"Against Las Palmas if you do not press well they generate problems. When recovering the ball at the beginning of the game we generated chances on goal.

"The defensive work has been wonderful. One of the best performances since I'm here. The reading [of the game] was excellent on a defensive level."

Luis Enrique - whose side are now two points adrift of league leaders Real Madrid, having played two matches more, reserved particular praise for Vidal - who was making just his second LaLiga appearance of the campaign.

"I believe that the team is strengthened to demonstrate that we need everyone," he added.

"A player like Aleix, the way he has trained in recent months, is ready to compete. He's played an excellent match.

"He is the player who has played the fewest minutes with the exception of [third-choice goalkeeper] Jordi Masip."

Andre Gomes was another player to impress against Las Palmas, with the Portugal international having one of his best games in a Barca shirt after initially struggling since joining from Valencia in the close-season.

"He is young and has everything to be a player in this team," Luis Enrique said.

"Maybe [against Las Palmas] he had more presence to make two goals, but it is a continuous process and his performance is in line with what we expected."

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Peter Hanson