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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Enrique vows Barca won't be complacent for Gunners

Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique. Photo: Albert Gea\Reuters
Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique. Photo: Albert Gea\Reuters

Barcelona will not be complacent in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Arsenal tonight despite leading 2-0 from the first game.

On course for a second successive treble of major trophies, the Spanish league leaders are on a 37-match unbeaten run in all competitions going into the match on Wednesday.

"To get to the next round you need two great games. We already got the first, we'll go for the second and the players are aware of that," coach Luis Enrique said.

"It's obvious that the result we got there influences this second game, but we won't change anything about the way we train nor the way we are preparing it. The tie is not sealed and Arsenal are a dangerous team."

Barca are eight points clear of Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

"Even when you're winning there's a lot of things to improve. We are getting closer to our objective, repeat or improve what we did last season, but one must be humble enough to keep working," Luis Enrique said.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger may be in the midst of one of his darkest times but the Frenchman insists he is even more motivated that he was on the day he walked into the club.

The 66-year-old is approaching two decades at the helm of the Gunners but is not in a position to start planning for celebrations when the anniversary arrives.

His side are on a dismal run which has seen them drop from top of the Premier League at the turn of the year to 11 points adrift of leaders Leicester - while the prospect of becoming the first team in living memory to win three successive FA Cups ended when they were beaten at home by Watford in Sunday's quarter-final meeting.

Having already batted away questions over his future, labelling them both "boring" and "a farce", Wenger has also had to defend himself against pundits and ex-Arsenal players all queuing up to tell him it is time to move on.

But, on the eve of one of his biggest challenges since taking over in 1996, he is determined to prove he is still hungry to succeed.

"Look, I have no doubt about my huge motivation," he said.

"I just think I built the club....in the way I did it with hard work, without any external resources. I think if you compare the club with the moment I arrived and the club where it is today, we have moved forward and without any money from anybody.

"The money has been produced by the quality of the work and I am even more motivated than in the first day I arrived. I feel more the pressure and responsibility to keep this club moving forward.

"The problem when you are a long time somewhere is that you are always questioned about the duration. I personally don't question."

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