Barcelona deserved to beat Real Madrid: Enrique

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Barcelona, Dec 4 (IANS) FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has asserted that his team deserved to win and blamed the players for wasting chances following the draw against arch-rivals Real Madrid at the Nou Camp Stadium here.

Barcelona had taken the lead eight minutes into the second half here on Saturday evening thanks to a Luis Suarez strike. But Real Madrid managed to snatch a point from the ‘El Classico’ when Sergio Ramos found a last minute equaliser.

“In the second half, we were the better side, but we didn’t manage to get the second (goal) and they ended up equalising. That said, we deserved to win.

“It is not the best result for us. It was a very even first half and a second that we were better, we created chances. We continued looking for the second to avoid being levelled, but we were unable to do so,” a bitter Enrique said after the match.

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“In the first half we saw two good teams trying to control the ball, an equal duel without real chances, with a lot of tension and evenness. The second was different, we created chances, we took the lead via a set play, and then we continued having the ball, wanting the second goal and controlling the game.

“Madrid, in a very characteristic play from them, drew level, and we paid the price for not killing the game with the chances we had,” the former Spain international was quoted as saying by the FC Barcelona website.

Following Saturday’s result, Real Madrid continue to lead the Spanish top flight standings with 34 points from 14 matches. Barcelona are at the second spot with 28 points, one ahead of third placed Sevilla.

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Enrique rued the fact that Barcelona were unable to reduce Real Madrid’s lead and urged his players to improve their record at home.

“Football often brings up this kind of situation, it is not justice or injustice, they equalised in the 90th minute and continue six points ahead. We were unable to cut the margin,” the former Barcelona star said.

“Even though many games still remain, we must improve, especially at home.

“In my opinion, the performance of the team was higher than that of the rival, but we have to improve, it is clear. I say this even when we win, and even when we draw. We can improve in all aspects of the game: offensive, defensive … We are ambitious,” he added.

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