Barcelona manager Luis Enrique employed an asymmetric 3-2-3-2 formation, as the hosts responded to an early Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike with goals from Messi, Neymar and Suarez.
Luis Enrique was a satisfied man after his tactics reaped rewards against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night with Barcelona winning 3-1 at Camp Nou to progress to the knockout stage of the Champions League as winners of Group F. The Catalans had gone into the game a point behind the French champions meaning that nothing less than a win would have been sufficient if they were to finish as group winners. They fell behind to an early goal from former player Zlatan Ibrahimovic but Lionel Messi promptly levelled matters before a sublime strike from Neymar and a second half goal from Luis Suarez settled the contest.
Luis Enrique was glad that his decision to field an adventurous lineup was vindicated which was designed to make up for the loss of Dani Alves through suspension.
“Our objective was to win the group, and I think we played a great match,” he said. “We were at a good level and we achieved our objective.”
“Given the players we’ve got we always look to play a formation that will do harm to the opponents, and today we had to play to win, looking for space for Messi and Neymar.”
“We played at a very high level. We put in a serious game against a difficult opponent, who closed down at the back and took an early lead.”
“The first half was back to basics and, thanks to our goals, we got in front and were able to go into the rest of the game more relaxed.”
“We are stronger as we have the chance to use different set ups. Our opponents are caught by surprise thinking what to expect from us.”
“This is a sport that is dictated by results. Today [Wednesday] we missed an important player in Dani Alves but we got on with things and we were able to turn around a difficult game.”
“This was a game that we had to win because our aim was to top the group. And that is precisely what we have done – now we’ll see if home advantage is as important as they say!”
Enrique refused to specify his preferred team ahead of Monday’s draw.”It would show a lack of respect to say I’d prefer to face any particular side – or if I said who I didn’t want us to play against. We’ve done our job now and I am sure whoever we are drawn against will be happy to have got this far too.”
Barcelona now return to Liga action, with a trip to Getafe on Saturday.