The head coach credited Pep Guardiola for sticking to his philosophy but heaped praise on his players for the way they dismantled Bayern in the last 20 minutes
Luis Enrique says Lionel Messi is not the only “piece of art” in Barcelona’s ranks after his team tore Bayern Munich apart late on in a 3-0 win in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg.
Messi unsurprisingly stole the show as he continued his amazing season with a late double before Neymar made it three goals in 13 minutes.
However, his coach was eager to praise his entire side as they restricted Bayern to just a handful of chances and avoided conceding an away goal.
“Guardiola’s tactics were according to his style, his team and his philosophy,” Luis Enrique said of his former team-mate. “And we played the same as we always do.
“Messi no longer surprises me. He has ambition and hunger, but I would not say Messi is the only piece of art at Barca. The work of the whole team was incredible on top of the fact we didn’t concede any goals.”
The Camp Nou win leaves Barca with one foot in the Champions League final and, though Luis Enrique admits the showing could not have been any better, he is aware there are still 90 minutes for the Bavarians to rustle up a sensational shock.
“We are a little closer to the final now,” the head coach conceded. “It was the perfect result that takes us a little closer to Berlin, but we still have a second leg to navigate.
“I am enormously pleased with everything my players did. We defeated a team of huge ability. Their players barely had a sniff at goal and that’s just as pleasing. It was simply a brilliant result.”
Barcelona have a Liga clash at home to David Moyes’ Real Sociedad – whom they lost to in their first game of 2015 – to look forward to before travelling to face Bayern in next Tuesday’s second leg at the Allianz Arena.