FC Barcelona continued their 1-0 winning run in La Liga for the second game in a row, beating Malaga at home. Manager Luis Enrique paid tribute to their ‘hard-working’ opponents and said that he was not surprised that Thomas Vermaelen scored the winning goal given his aerial prowess.
FC Barcelona have won both of their opening games 1-0. There were concerns regarding the pre-league season form of their defence, having conceded 9 goals in 3 European and Spanish Super Cup games. However, the defence has looked solid in each of their opening games, despite injuries and suspension to Dani Alves and Gerrard Pique respectively.
Enrique pays tribute to ‘hard working’ Malaga.
Malaga were the only side in 2014/15 Spanish league that FC Barcelona failed to score against. The Catalans lost the home game 1-0 and were held to a 0-0 draw away.
Enrique had said that he anticipated a tough game and Malaga gave them exactly that. Praising the opponents, the manager of the Catalan giants was quoted saying by ESPN FC: “Malaga are a very hard-working team who defend very well. We expected a game like this and we had planned for it and worked on it. We had to keep trying to move the ball around a lot and quickly and not lose our structure.”
Vermaelen winner does not surprise Enrique
Since completing his move from Arsenal FC, Thomas Vermaelen has been blighted with injuries. However, he struck the winner for the Catalan giants last night. Praising the defender, Enrique said that he was not surprised he scored the goal given how good he is in the air.
“We knew of his quality when we signed him, but unfortunately he got injured,” Luis Enrique said. “It’s one of those coincidences of life that he has scored the winner for us today.
“I wasn’t surprised that he scored because he is an expert in the air and is very dangerous at set-pieces. He has a lot of character and although there have been some doubts about his fitness, and he is still not 100 percent fit, there has never been any doubt about his quality.”
Enrique not worried about refereeing decisions
FC Barcelona had two very good penalty appeals turned down in the first half. The first one was for a handball by Malaga defender Miguel Torres and the other a late challenge by Marcos Angeleri on forward Luis Suarez.
However, Enrique chose to ignore the two incident and said that the decisions can sometime come in their favour and sometimes go against them.
“You have to learn to deal with not getting decisions,” he said.
“You get some in your favour and some against you, but I try not to waste my time thinking about them and I hope my players don’t either.”