Luis Enrique pays the price for benching 'big' names in Barca loss

Luis Enrique pays the price for benching ‘big’ names in Barca loss

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Barcelona manager Luis Enrique would have only himself to blame after opting to drop star names in their La Liga game against newly promoted Alaves at the Camp Nou yesterday.

With the only bright thing about Barcelona’s performance the new blond hair on Neymar, the game ended in a shocking 2-1 defeat as Enrique’s charges struggled to shine on Saturday night. Barca began the game without Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Andrés Iniesta, all of whom had been left on the bench while Gerard Pique and Sergio Roberto were in the stands.

Deyverson opened the scoring for the visitors after a surprise move into the Barcelona half saw him latch on with tact, at the near post to a superb cross from Kiko Femenia in the 39th minute.

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Barcelona had spent the Summer recruiting names to bolster their squad and so Luis Enrique thought it right to try them with Alaves but it wasn’t to be as they lacked rhythm and understanding, sandwiched between poor passes and dreadful finishing which ended their first half on the low.

With play restarted, Barca found a way back eventually when defender Jeremy Mathieu rose to head a Neymar corner past Fernando Pacheco. It should have been a second Mathieu goal moments later, but this time from another Neymar corner the French defender volleyed wide from just 7 yards out.

Luis Enrique finally threw on Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta in a bid to get control of the game and grab a winner but it wasn’t to be as Alaves refused to be brushed aside. Edgar Mendez scored from close range after a free-kick was drilled in. The goal was ruled out for offside but Alaves were not to be denied their winner.

Ibai Gomez capitalized on some lazy defending by Mascherano in the 64th minute to slot past debutant goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen and send the 300 travelling fans into a frenzy.

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Ibai Gomez celebrates after scoring the winner against Barcelona

La Liga Results – Saturday 10 September 2016

  • Real Madrid 5 – 2 Osasuna
  • Celta Vigo 0 – 4 Atl Madrid
  • Malaga 0 – 2 Villarreal
  • Sevilla 2 – 1 Las Palmas
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