Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was impressed with his side’s efforts in Saturday’s 2-0 Spanish La Liga win over Real Sociedad that brought the Catalans closer to the Spanish top-flight title.
Enrique hailed the vital victory in where David Moyes’s Sociedad frustrated Barca with a staunch defensive display in the first half at Camp Nou, before Neymar broke the deadlock six minutes after the deadlock, with Pedro banging home a magnificent overhead kick in the closing stages to round off the victory.
A 2-2 draw for title chasers Real Madrid against Valencia later on that day means Barca are now four points clear at the top of the La Liga with two games remaining – fixtures which are currently in a state of flux due to proposed strike action in relation to Spanish football’s latest television rights agreement.
“They were three vital points for us,” Luis Enrique told reporters post-match.
“We knew the difficulty of the game. [Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo] Rulli has played a great game in the first half and then in the second, fatigue appears. Real are a great team and we knew it would be very difficult.”
Wednesday’s superb 3-0 win over Bayern Munich in the opening leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final edged Barca closer to the final ahead of their second leg trip to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, and they will also contest the Spanish Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao, although that match too could be affected by strikes.
Enrique believes his squad is equipped to complete a final charge for silverware on three fronts, while he reserved praise for his defence and Pedro’s spectacular finale.
He added: “Physically the team is very good.
“We have got players of substance who have been very good.
“We carried on a good run without conceding and the players know that it is very important not to concede.
“I can only speak marvellous things of Pedro. He is a top class player. This year he is playing less than he deserves but he always delivers. He is a full professional and a pleasure to coach. His goal was tremendous.”