Sergio Busquets scored an injury time winner to secure a 1-0 victory for Barcelona against Valencia.
The Asturian coach made some tactical changes last night but the Catalans complicated things far too much before Sergio Busquets saved the day in stoppage time. Barcelona looked set to lose further ground on La Liga leaders Real Madrid, who registered a club-record 16th consecutive win across all competitions against Malaga on Saturday. Luis Suarez saw a goal incorrectly disallowed in the game but it was Busquets who popped up to score the winner deep into injury time.Lionel Messi was struck on the head by a bottle thrown from the crowd as the Barcelona players were celebrating the goal. The Argentine found Neymar with a measured cross whose header was saved by the Valencia keeper Diego Alves but Busquets stabbed home the rebound in the 94th minute. As the Barcelona players were celebrating the goal, Messi was hit by an object thrown from a section of the home support near the corner flag.
“I am proud of the team. I have been since the start of the season,” manager Luis Enrique said after the win in Valencia.”We were up against a difficult opponent. We had chances to score and we played well.”
“We were fair winners. We had faith until the last second at a very difficult venue.”
“There are still some imprecisions,” he admitted. “But we played well. This team is ready to go hand-in-hand right until the end to get the win. We got our strategy right and managed to control the game. We still need to improve, but so does every team in the competition. We’re on the right track.”
“With Busi and Mascherano in midfield we were looking for more control to prevent Valencia from getting the ball through to the forwards. I like to pick the right kind of players for each game.”
His tactics paid off in the end, but the team had to work incredibly hard to get there.”We had three shots right in front of goal! But winning a game in the 93rd minute is really nice. Of course I’m happy with the team, barring the three points. We played against a very tough opponent, who pressed like very few teams.”
“The feeling is that lady luck falls on your side in the 92nd minute after making such a good effort to develop a move from a set piece, but the Virgin Mary didn’t appear.”
“We had to dominate them and control their transitions, but [her services] are much appreciated.”
When asked about the team rotation every week Enrique replied, “I’m convinced that the best way to get to the end of the season is by playing as a team and using as many players as possible in the best way we can. I have always worked like that, and at Barça it hasn’t been going badly so far.”