Luis Enrique: My team has ambition and commitment

Luis Enrique on the sidelines at San Mamés / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Barça boss more than happy with the first leg win, Munir’s goalscoring and Sergi Roberto’s versatility

FC Barcelona are ahead in their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie with Athletic Club Bilbao thanks a hard fought 2-1 first leg win at San Mamés. Coach Luis Enrique was proud of his side battling performance that allowed them to demonstrate another side to their potent arsenal: “This team has unique ambition and they are prepared to compete in every way and if they have to defend then they do it. Today they [Athletic] created very few chances against us.”

The Barça boss admitted, “I leave happy with the result” but warned that Aduriz’s late strike for Athletic means “the tie is more open and now next Wednesday [the second leg] will be very passionate.”

“Athletic deserve credit, in the second half it was difficult for us and we have had to play practically in our own half,” continued Luis Enrique.

“After the break they put us under a lot of pressure, we lacked fluency and that was one of the main reasons.”

Munir’s opening strike means he is now top scorer in the Copa del Rey with five goals. “I am very happy he has scored again. Both Munir and Sandro are goalscorers and they bring things to the team. Both of them have great attitudes in training,” encouraged the Asturian.

Sergi Roberto’s famous versatility was to the fore again with the man from Reus starting at left back in place of the injured Jordi Alba. Luis Enrique was full of praise: “He is a gifted footballer to be able to play in different positions. Against Athletic was a day to see him play in a different position. He played really well considering he was up against a player like Iñaki Williams who is really strong.”