Luis Enrique was visibly agitated with a reporter following Barcelona’s 4-0 humiliation against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, but admitted his team were clearly inferior in defeat.
Two Angel Di Maria goals and one each from Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani left Luis Enrique’s side with a mountain to climb in the second leg at the Camp Nou next month.
Speaking to TV3 immediately after the game, the Barca coach said to reporter Jordi Grau: “I don’t like your tone and I would have liked the same treatment all the times we have won that I am getting tonight when we haven’t.”
As the Barca manager started to walk away, Grau concluded by saying that Luis Enrique seemed to be very upset.
“But we can’t understand what he means when he talks about our treatment since in victory, almost always, and when the team loses, our treatment toward him has been consistent.”
At that point, multiple reports from Spain indicated that Luis Enrique turned back toward Grau and had further words with the reporter.
Luis Enrique has always had a tense relationship with the press since being appointed as Barca’s manager, despite the fact he’s won eight trophies in two-and-a-half years.
Memories of the 4-0 drubbings by Bayern Munich in 2013 and AC Milan in 1994 came rushing back as Barca endured a nightmarish 90 minutes to rival those two debacles as their worst ever European night.
Barcelona were overwhelmed by Unai Emery’s men, and the Spaniard enjoyed a dish of revenge served extra cold after suffering so many defeats at the hands of Barca over the years.
The knives will be out for Luis Enrique, not just because the coach suffered his worst defeat in a major competition, but because the team looked so ill-prepared for the game.
However, Luis Enrique had no such complaints about his side’s defeat when he appeared in his post-match news conference shortly after.
“It was a disastrous game,” he admitted. “It’s not difficult to explain. PSG were better than us from the start. They overcame our pressure and they were better with and without the ball. We were clearly inferior.
“I’m responsible for this so don’t look for anyone else to blame. The responsibility falls solely on me. These players have given us a lot of joy.”
However, the Barca manager refused to rule out an unlikely comeback when the two sides meet again on March 8.
“There’s half the tie to go and I won’t lose hope, even though it will take a heroic comeback,” he added. “Why not dream?” – ESPN