Tuesday 25 September 2018

Enrique: We cannot afford to have a crazy game in Munich

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique during training
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique during training

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique wants to avoid their Champions League semi-final, second leg at Bayern Munich turning into a frantic encounter that could jeopardise their 3-0 first leg advantage.

The Spaniards scored three times late in the game to beat Bayern last week but Enrique said he was fully aware the Germans were far from beaten.

“We don’t want to have a crazy game and if it is a crazy game we will have to calm it down,” Enrique said in Munich. “We will try to do it with counter attacks. We want to have the ball, we want possession. It will be difficult because Bayern will do the same thing.”

Bayern twice showed they are capable of crushing any opposition at home in the Champions League this season, first annihilating Shakhtar Donetsk 7-0 after a goalless draw in Ukraine in the round of 16 and then demolishing Porto 6-1 after losing their quarter-final first leg 3-1 in Portugal. Against Porto they scored five times in the opening 40 minutes to kill off the tie in the first half and that is what the Barca coach is desperate to avoid.

“You should not be too confident going into a game like that. You have to respect the opponent, calm your players down, control their emotions.”

With Bayern on the backfoot the Germans will be looking for an early goal that could put them on the road to a memorable comeback against arguably the most in-form team in Europe.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, a former team mate of Enrique, will be looking for his chances despite the heavy first leg defeat, Enrique said.

“He will try to have possession, to create chances and be strong in defence. I expect an attacking Bayern and I will do the same thing.”

While Bayern have struggled in recent weeks, Barca are on a high after all but securing the La Liga title the weekend. They have also scored 25 goals in their last seven outings.

“We will attack, we don’t know any other way to play, we don’t know how to play a defensive game,” said defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano.

“That is the philosophy of our club. Obviously we have an advantage but we will try to find at least one goal.”

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