Enrique downplays El Clasico defeat


Los Blancos were too strong for the La Liga leaders in Saturday’s convincing 3-1 victory over the Catalans, yet the Barca coach says he is not dwelling on the loss as he targets League victory at the end of the campaign.

"I would have settled for that defeat at the start of the season if we won La Liga, and I would at the end," he told reporters on Tuesday. "We’d be delighted.

"I’d accept losing to anyone if we won La Liga. I’m aware that to win we need to play well. And that would mean that the fans enjoy themselves.

"At the end of the day, we are joint leaders after nine games and for me it's much more important to be top of La Liga than to have beaten Real Madrid.

"I hope it’s 100 times more intense when Madrid come to Barcelona. It’s part of football - the songs and the insults. I think we’re over the loss."

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona player accepted full responsibility for his side’s defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu, yet insisted he would not have made any changes to his team in hindsight.

"I take full responsibility for the defeat,” he said. “It had nothing to do with problems with fitness or attitude. It was particular circumstances during the match that affected the team.

"I would pick the same XI again. You never know how a game is going to pan out and there were things I didn't expect from Real Madrid.

"Knowing that I would certainly have planned things differently but it's very easy to be wise after the event."

Barcelona are still on top of the Spanish standings, level on points with Sevilla and one ahead of the Galacticos, and face sixth-placed Celta Vigo in their next La Liga fixture on Saturday.