THE Blaugrana employed an adventurous 3-2-3-2 formation, as the hosts responded to an early Zlatan Ibrahimovic effort with goals from Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez
Luis Enrique was a happy man after his bold tactics reaped dividends against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night, with Barcelona triumphing 3-1 at Camp Nou to progress to the knockout stage of the Champions League as winners of Group F.
The Catalans had gone into the game a point behind their French opponents in the standings, meaning that nothing less than victory would suffice if they were to realise their goal of being seeded for Monday’s last-16 draw.
Barca fell behind to an early goal from former player Zlatan Ibrahimovic but Lionel Messi promptly levelled matters before subsequent strikes from Neymar and Luis Suarez earned the hosts an important win.
Luis Enrique thus felt vindicated for not only starting all three of his superstar forwards, but also selecting Pedro in midfield as part of an adventurous 3-2-3-2 formation designed to make up for the absence of regular right-back Dani Alves through suspension.
“Our objective was to win the group, and I think we played a great match,” he said. “We were at a good level and we achieved our objective.
“Given the players we’ve got we always look to play a formation that will do harm to the opponents, and today we had to play to win, looking for space for Messi and Neymar.
“The first half was back to basics and, thanks to our goals, we got in front and were able to go into the rest of the game more relaxed.
“This is a sport that is dictated by results. Today [Wednesday] we missed an important player in Dani Alves but we got on with things and we were able to turn around a difficult game.”
Barcelona now return to Liga action, with the Blaugrana set for a trip to Getafe on Saturday