Luis Enrique: Barcelona not looking for excuses


Barcelona coach Luis Enrique refused to look for excuses after his side's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Gerard Pique's opener was cancelled out by Karim Benzema, before Cristiano Ronaldo netted the winner shortly after Sergio Ramos' dismissal as Madrid pulled within seven points of Barcelona in the Liga table.

The Catalans' attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar failed to leave their mark on the game, but Luis Enrique did not want to point to the trio's recent international duties as an excuse for their underwhelming performance.

"I do not want to look for excuses when a result is not good," Luis Enrique said at a media conference. "We have the world's best players and they have to travel for internationals. We have to accept that.

"I am happy with the attitude of my players. We could have won the game, or draw, but Madrid were the more effective team in the end. I am obviously not happy with the result. But what happened to us is something that can happen in any game.

"We dominated but suffered in transitional phases in the last 15 minutes of the game. It is painful to lose here at Camp Nou, but the defeat had to happen some day. Things did not go as expected but we played against a team with a lot of quality. We had most of the ball and created plenty of chances. They surprised us in the last 15 minutes. But that is football.

"It is now important to move and get ready for the Champions League game against Atletico."

Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou on Tuesday in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.