Luis Enrique 'Very Proud' of Barcelona Form After Copa del Rey Win vs. Bilbao


Luis Enrique 'Very Proud' of Barcelona Form After Copa del Rey Win vs. Bilbao
  1. Luis Enrique 'Very Proud' of Barcelona Form After Copa del Rey Win vs. Bilbao
    bleacherreport.com
    Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said he is "proud" of his players for their efforts over the last three matches and that he is "optimistic" about the future, per Marca. The Catalan club beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 on Wednesday night to narrowly seal progression to the quarter-final of to the Copa del Rey. Goals from Luis Suarez, Neymar, and Lionel Messi were enough to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg and hand Barcelona their first win of 2017. But despite stuttering results,…
    Soccer

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said he is "proud" of his players for their efforts over the last three matches and that he is "optimistic" about the future, per Marca.

The Catalan club beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 on Wednesday night to narrowly seal progression to the quarter-final of to the Copa del Rey. Goals from Luis Suarez, Neymar, and Lionel Messi were enough to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg and hand Barcelona their first win of 2017.

But despite stuttering results, Luis Enrique expressed his pleasure with the progress his players are making.

"These last three games make me feel very proud as a coach," he said, per Marca. "I've seen things very similar in all three games. I've seen control of the game, and today against Athletic, for example, we created many chances."

Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Barca's 1-1 draw at Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday closed the gap between themselves and league leaders Real Madrid to five points, and Zinedine Zidane's men have a game in hand on their rivals. Although they are not in form domestically, Luis Enrique believes his players have improved compared to late 2016, when Barcelona drew three consecutive league games across November and December. He said, per Marca:

Winning is always good. The image of my team in these last three matches has improved from the 2016 version. It makes me optimistic from what I have seen in training and when we compete. Against Athletic, we did not lose our composure and we created scoring chances. I think we deserved to progress.

The victory, and consequent much-needed confidence boost, comes before a run of winnable games for Luis Enrique's side. Barca face Las Palmas, Eibar, Real Betis, Athletic and Alaves before the crucial Champions League round-of-16 tie against Paris…

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