Friday, 25 September 2015

Barca coach calls for defensive improvement


Barcelona coach Luis Enrique admitted his side’s defending needs to improve drastically after the European champions suffered a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Celta Vigo in midweek.


FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, duels for the ball against Celta de Vigo's Pablo Hernandez during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.
FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, duels for the ball against Celta de Vigo’s Pablo Hernandez during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.
Defeat in Vigo was Barca’s first in La Liga this season, but they have now conceded four goals three times in just nine matches to start the campaign after losing 4-0 to Athletic Bilbao in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup and overcoming Sevilla 5-4 in the UEFA Super Cup.

Enrique’s men conceded just 37 goals in 60 games in all competitions on their way to winning the treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey last season. However, they have already conceded 16 times so far this season.

“It is clear that we need to need to improve defensively, but that doesn’t just mean the defence and the goalkeeper, it means all 11 players on the field must defend better,” said Enrique.

The Barca boss was full of praise for his old side Celta, but is hoping for a reaction from his side when they host Las Palmas on Saturday.

“It was a great Celta performance that demanded a better one from Barca,” he added.

“In the dressing room we hope that the defeat in Vigo will serve as a stimulant to get back to winning ways and makes us realise how hard it is to win in this league.”

Barca will again be without the injured Claudio Bravo, Rafinha and Thomas Vermaelen.

However, left-back Jordi Alba should return after overcoming the neck injury which kept him out of the defeat in Vigo.

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