Luis Enrique looking to secure top spot in Group E

Luis Enrique speaking to the media ahead of Tuesday's clash with Roma / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The FC Barcelona manager expects a very different encounter against Roma to the one that ended 1-1 at the Olimpico

Luis Enrique spoke to the press on Monday ahead of the Champions League game with Roma tomorrow at 8.45pm CET, saying that “it is essential for us to secure top spot in the group against Roma. We have two games left and that’s what we intend to do … It is important for us to play well, because I think we’ll be dealing with a very different kind of Roma tomorrow to the one we saw at the Olimpico”.

A lot of the questions, and quite understandably, were about the amazing 4-0 victory at the Bernabéu on Saturday, including the concern that after all the fuss, it might be hard to bring the players back down to earth for another match. “I think the team is intelligent enough to know how difficult it is to win football matches” he retorted. “People are heaping praise on us at the moment, but we are fully aware that this is still the first third of the season and there’s a long way to go yet.”

Roman conquest

He was also asked how it feels to be facing the side he once managed – and who would be in trouble if they don’t get anything out of the game on Tuesday. “I think it’s a nice game for them” he replied. “They have to come and win at the Camp Nou. Nothing else will do … It will be a very different game to the first one. They played it very tight at the back in Rome, while tomorrow I think we’ll see an interesting game between two top quality skilful sides.”

“The pace of the game at the Olimpico was not what we wanted” he continued. “But we always struggle when a team sticks eight or nine men behind the ball. But all the same, we didn’t give them many chances and created lots for ourselves. I’ll always take a game like that. We played well, and I hope we are just as superior tomorrow, but that this time we manage to take our chances when we get them.”

Messi back

Luis Enrique also confirmed that Leo Messi is fully fit. “He looked great when he came on against Madrid and it’s a joy for all the fans and everyone involved at Barça to know that. Now what he needs to do is get back into the rhythm of playing matches, charge up his batteries, and in no time we’ll be able to enjoy seeing Messi back at his best.”