18 September 2014 03:29
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique defended his decision to rotate his squad after the Spanish giants edged past APOEL on Wednesday.
Barca kicked off their UEFA Champions League Group F campaign with a 1-0 win at home to APOEL, with Gerard Pique’s 28th-minute header the difference.
Lionel Messi and Munir El Haddadi were the only survivors from the team that beat Athletic Bilbao last week as Luis Enrique made nine changes.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Adriano Correia, Pique, Marc Bartra, Xavi, Sergi Roberto, Sergi Samper and Neymar were all in the starting XI.
Luis Enrique’s rotation was brought into question post-game after Barca were made to work for their victory against the Cypriots, but the Spanish boss said rotation is necessary to compete on all fronts.
“We had problems because they gave us so little space. As a positive, we scored from a set-piece. I also love the fact we have not conceded,” said Luis Enrique.
“It was a tough match and we made few mistakes so we deserved the three points.
“We always have to find solutions. I would pick the same team now having watched the match tonight – I would do it all over again.
“We were not too fluid and we know we have to improve and we will analyse our performance. I might make mistakes sometimes – I don’t think I did tonight.
“You might think we should have won by four or five, but those are my decisions and you decide if they are right or not.”