Luis Enrique refused to make excuses for his Barcelona side as their 19-game unbeaten run in La Liga was ended by Deportivo La Coruna just four days after they produced a remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain.
Goals from Joselu and Alex Bergantinos either side of Luis Suarez’s 21st league goal of the season enabled Depor to pick up three vital points in their battle to remain in Spain’s top flight while simultaneously denting Barca’s title hopes.
Barca’s preparations for the game at Riazor had been hit by the celebrations which followed Wednesday’s 6-1 win against PSG in the Champions League. The players were even given Friday off, leaving them with just one training session to plan for the match.
“Only those that have experienced what we have been through this week know what it means, but professionals have to know how to deal with these situations,” Luis Enrique said in his postgame news conference when asked if the midweek heroics had led to a European hangover.
“We predicted it would be difficult. A game is always affected by what has happened in the last one, but it’s better to go into a game euphoric than pessimistic.”
The Blaugrana are still top of the league for now, although Real Madrid will move ahead of them if they beat Real Betis later on Sunday. Luis Enrique, though, remains hopeful that all teams will drop more points between now and the end of the season.
“There are not going to be any easy games for anyone and that’s what we will hang on to,” he added. “That and knowing that we have games to come against direct rivals.”
Goalscorer Suarez agreed with his manager, saying that the Barca players had more than enough time to recover for the defeat to Depor.
“We let them get into the game for too long in the first half and this is what football is like, when you give a team an advantage they always punish you,” Suarez told reporters immediately after the final whistle.
“The PSG result did not cost us today, we’ve had enough days to recover. Deportivo are fighting relegation and we knew it was going to be difficult here but we’re not going to give up the fight for La Liga.”