Luis Enrique
Luis Enrique

After a disappointing 1-0 loss at Real Sociedad last weekend, Barcelona eased the pressure on Luis Enrique with a 3-1 victory over Atletico at Camp Nou.
A dominant first half that yielded goals from Neymar and Luis Suarez, and a late sealer from Lionel Messi, saw second-placed Barca close to within a point of rivals and league leaders Real Madrid.
“I have no doubt that we played a complete match. We played at a very high level,” Luis Enrique said.
“The fans enjoy watching games like these.
“When you play Atletico you know that you’re playing a strong team. I like them, but today we were better.”
Messi was at his majestic best during the early exchanges, setting up Brazilian Neymar for the opening goal after 12 minutes.
Barca were the beneficiaries of some more Messi brilliance 10 minutes before half-time, with the Argentina international surging into the penalty area as Suarez doubled the home side’s lead.
Atletico were offered a lifeline in the 57th minute and Mario Mandzukic took full advantage, converting a penalty following a foul on Jesus Gamez.
Messi, however, was on hand to secure maximum points three minutes from the end.
Despite the nature of the win that allowed Barca to reduce Real’s lead to a solitary point, though the latter has a game in hand, Luis Enrique refused to look too far ahead.
“All victories strengthen a team, but it’s just three more points and the season is very long,” he added. “When we win everyone is happy, but the team is the same whether we win or not.”