3:26 pm - Tuesday November 3, 2015

Luis Enrique: Blame me for Barcelona defeat

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The coach says his side failed to handle the occasion properly on Tuesday and conceded they were fully aware of PSG’s threat from set-pieces

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has insisted that he is the one to blame for the club’s 3-2 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi and Co. were outplayed for swathes of the match at Parc des Princes, with David Luiz, Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi firing the Parisiens to a home victory, easing pressure on under-fire coach Laurent Blanc.

Luis Enrique, who has enjoyed a comparatively simple start since taking over this summer after an unbeaten opening to the 2014-15 campaign, refrained from placing blame on any of his team but accepted that his side failed to handle the occasion as well as their hosts.

“The explanation for our defeat is quite clear,” he told reporters. “We were up against a rival who are at the same level as us, and they handled the pressure better than we did.

“Tonight we didn’t play as well as we had hoped. We had a few clear chances at the end when we could have equalised. But I cannot say that it’s an unfair result although a draw wouldn’t have been too unfair either.

“We committed basic mistakes when conducting the ball out of our half and that was what caused the dead ball moves from which PSG scored. It was something we knew could happen.

“Sometimes it’s inevitable – it’s a catalogue of mistakes. It’s not easy to correct but it’s an area we are aware of.”

When asked specifically about the performances of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and his defence, Luis Enrique added: “I don’t usually give individual assessments of players’ performances. Defeat is down to all of us – and first in the line to blame is me.

“I am the coach and the responsibility is mine. The players had a good attitude tonight, it wasn’t our most productive day in terms of our finishing; we will analyse what went wrong and what we did well.

Barca are back in Champions League action on October 21 when they host Ajax at Camp Nou but, before that, will travel to Rayo Vallecano as they look to continue their almost-flawless start to their Liga season.

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