Enrique praises second-stringers

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Barcelona qualified into the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League after their 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen, who failed to qualify for the competition’s knockout stages and dropped into the UEFA Europa League, on Wednesday.

In that game, Barca manager Luis Enrique gave youngsters Sergi Samper, Gerard Gumbau, Juan Camara, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Wilfried Kapoum a chance to impress at the BayArena.

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“I felt positive about our performance,” Enrique said.

“I wanted to give the players who have played the most minutes a rest and I saw good signs from us against a team that really had to win.

“Marc was spectacular, really solid and he gave the appearance of dominating the goal area, [the performance] it reinforces him.”

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He added: “I am happy with the performance of the players from the B team who have featured. At times we were overrun by our opponents, but I leave happy.”

The Spanish La Liga giants will be among the top seeds for the draw in Nyon on Monday.

“In the last 16 we will face whoever we are lucky enough to be drawn with” said Enrique.

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