Barca players urged to stay focused


Published: Thursday 16th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has warned his players not to lose their focus after their stunning 3-1 win at Paris St Germain in the Champions League.

PSG had not lost at home in European competition since 2006 but a goal from Neymar and a brace from Luis Suarez in the first leg of their quarter-final tie on Wednesday put Barca a giant step closer to the last four of the competition.

A late own goal from Jeremy Mathieu has given PSG a glimmer of hope for next week’s return leg at the Nou Camp.

“I would have preferred them not to have scored,” Luis Enrique told his club’s official website. “We weren’t all that lucky because the ball deflected off one of our players before it went in.

“A 3-0 win would have been the perfect result.

“The tie is not decided. We should not fall into the trap of thinking it’s all over, because it isn’t.”

PSG playmaker Marco Verratti and forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic were suspended for the first leg but will be available for the return match.

Ibrahimovic will be relishing the opportunity to go up against his former team.

The Sweden international has scored 26 goals in all competitions this season for PSG and was sorely missed on Wednesday.

“I’m sure it will be a difficult match,” Luis Enrique said. “PSG will have their suspended players back for the return leg.

“We have seen everything in football and our target is to win the return match and steer clear of any problems.”

Luis Enrique showered praise on his team, especially his attacking players.

“Suarez scores like only a centre forward can score,” he said.

“The strikers have the freedom to do what they think is best in attack. They are intelligent, top notch players.

“But I would highlight all of the players. When they play so well and with such intensity, it only reinforces our idea.

“We played a spectacular game in attack and defence.

“We were very aware of what we had to do in all phases of the game and created danger, were solid in defence and all-round it was a very complete performance.”

Barca return to La Liga action on Saturday when they host Champions League hopefuls Valencia.

The Catalan club are two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the Primera Division with seven games remaining.

Published: Thursday 16th April 2015 by The News Editor

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