Luis Enrique: 'Result fair for both teams'

Luis Enrique relays instructions during Saturday's draw at RCD Espanyol. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Barça manager breaks down Saturday’s Catalan derby, which saw Barça and Espanyol claw to a 0–0 stalemate

FC Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique was stone-cold honest. As he sat at the podium in the press room at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat following his team’s goalless draw in the first of three derbies in an 11-day span, he recognized that, despite the behemoth gap in possession in Barça’s favour and the number of scoring chances his players had, the result was fair.

“[Espanyol] did very well today,” he said, before alluding to the coming last-16 tie in the Copa del Rey that will see the same two teams face off twice more in the coming days. “This result changes things, but we’ll be just as intense,” he said.

“I think they played the way we thought they were going to play,” Luis Enrique continued.  But, he said, “It’s always tough to face an opponent that plays with such high intensity.”

Here are the highlights of what else Luis Enrique had to say after the game:

On the match:

“They pressured us and made it tough, especially at the beginning of the match.”

“We had a very good start to the second half.”

“They had better rhythm in the opening minutes, and they were at a very high level on the defensive side.”

On the final score:

“The result was fair for both teams, despite the fact that we created plenty of chances.”

On the derby factor:

“They were very intense. Every time there’s a derby Espanyol bring that kind of intensity.”

On the refereeing:

“Football is a contact sport. I don’t want to talk about the decisions of the referee.”