FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique heaped enormous praise on his swashbuckling side after they plundered 6 goals past a hapless AS Roma at the Camp Nou on Matchday 5 of the UEFA Champions League.

 

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi made his much-awaited return to the Barcelona starting line-up after being sidelined for two months due to a knee injury. He had an instant impact on proceedings at the Camp Nou as he constantly linked up with Neymar and Suarez to rip apart Rudi Garcia’s Roma side. Messi and Suarez both scored braces and Adriano and Pique added 2 more as Luis Enrique’s men . lit up the Camp Nou with a breathtaking display of attacking football.

Neymar, who was terrific on the night, even had the luxury of missing a penalty in the second half that he himself earned. His actions were reciprocated by Roma striker Edin Dzeko after the Bosnian’s weak penalty was saved by Marc Andre ter-Stegen. Roma scored a consolation goal in the final act of the match after Dzeko headed in past the Barcelona goalkeeper to give the travelling fans something to cheer about.

Enrique eyes further improvement after Barcelona rout Roma

Addressing the media after his side’s 6-1 demolition of AS Roma, a cheerful Luis Enrique praised his Barcelona side for their swashbuckling performance on the night. He later pointed out, however, that his side need to keep improving further as tougher tests lie ahead.

“When you see your players having fun out on the pitch, you’re happy,” said the Barcelona manager (via uefa.com). “Of course we can still improve a lot of things. In a sport as complex as football, there’s always room for improvement. We’re in a good moment and we have to take full advantage.”

Speaking on the match in general, Enrique said, “If we hadn’t conceded a goal towards the end, Ter Stegen would have been happier and so would the rest of the team, but still it is a positive night for us. Saturday’s ClA?sico wasn’t the perfect game and neither was this. There are always things you can improve.”

FC Barcelona vs AS Roma

“I see the fans enjoying this team. I see the players really wanting to get involved and I see the faces of those who can’t participate and they really want to.”

Asked about Messi’s impact on the Barcelona performance on the night Enrique said, “We are all aware of the quality Lionel Messi possesses. We have enjoyed watching him for many years and hopefully we will keep on enjoying watching him in the years to come. It’s very good for the team to have them up front [Messi, Neymar and Luis SuA?rez]. They make our entire team better. It looks like [SuA?rez] has been playing for years at Barcelona. He has shown he is capable of transforming his style of play to fit ours.”

Returning Messi improves already perfect Barcelona

Barcelona were 3-0 up against bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu last Saturday when Lionel Messi came on as a 2nd half substitute to make his first appearance in 2 months. The rampant duo of Neymar and Suarez had already torn apart Rafa Benitez’s Real Madrid side, just as they had been tearing apart the other teams in the absence of Lionel Messi over the past two months. Many had heralded this Messi-less Barcelona side as an improved version of its earlier avatar.

Then came the 6-1 demolition of AS Roma. Lionel Messi improved an already perfect Barcelona side. The link up play was mesmerizing, the passing immaculate and the finishing exquisite. Messi, linking up Neymar and Suarez, ran rings around the Roma backline throughout the match on the way to his richly deserved brace.

Messi’s masterclass against Roma showed the world that even a side as perfect as FC Barcelona has room for improvement.