Second half goals by Neymar and Jordi Alba helped FC Barcelona to register a 2-1 victory over an aggressive Almería side but coach Luis Enrique said that the Blaugrana were lucky to claim all three points against the Andalusians.
Almeria played with tight man-to-man defense against FC Barcelona and their tactics paid off in the first half as Thievy scored a goal in the 36th minute of the game. But Neymar came to the rescue of FC Barcelona in the second half when he scored an equalizer in the 71st minute while Jordi Alba secured a late winner in the 81st minute.
The tactics used by Almeria forced FC Barcelona players to struggle in the whole game and coach Luis Enrique said after the game that it was a lucky escape for his players.
“The game was complicated, but the substitutes, not the performance, won us the game. Sometimes this can happen, but it mustn’t paper over what we did wrong. We could not counteract Almeria at first, but then we scored on the counter. That heightened our mood. It wasn’t a great game, but with attitude and desire of the players, we came back,” Luis Enrique told reporters after the match.
“[Almeria] didn’t surprise me. We knew we’d leave spaces out wide and that they’d both play strategically and on the break. “
FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique made the surprise inclusion of youngster Munir El Haddadi in his starting line-up but he defended his decision. Luis Enrique also said that improvements are needed if they want to win trophies this season.
“I prefer to assess the team. Individuals are less important. We have to improve our game and win more points and games to make up the ground [at the top]. That’s the goal. It’s simple. To be successful, you have to win when you play badly, like today. The best thing [about today] was the result.”
Meanwhile, Jordi Alba who scored the winning goal against Almeria played down the significance of his goal in his post-match interview. Alba said: “No [I’m not a hero], I was working for the team. [Almeria] were better in the first half. In the second we went for it, we created chances and got the result. I was just trying to have a good game.”
“The game unfolded like [it did] against Celta. There was more of the same, lots of one-twos and shots at goal, but we improved defensively, and offensively we created many chances.”
Image Courtesy: FC Barcelona Official Website