Barcelona suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad on Sunday, with many blaming the loss on coach Luis Enrique‘s decision to start Lionel Messi & Neymar on the bench.
Barcelona had trailed as early as the 2nd minute after an unfortunate Jordi Alba own goal, and failed to find an equalizer all through.
Lionel Messi was brought in half time, with Neymar coming in 15 minutes later, but neither South American was able to change the final outcome.
Luis Enrique refused to accept that the decision to bench Messi led to the loss, saying “This isn’t the time to regret those decisions.”
“I look at the season as a whole and I do what’s best for the team. I thought that it was best not to risk [them].”
“[The own goal was] Real Sociedad’s only dangerous chance. We controlled the match, especially in the second half when we got closer to their net.”
“We deserved more than that. We were a bit unlucky not to have scored the tying goal. Real Sociedad played a complete match.”