Barcelona manager Luis Enrique hailed the quality displayed by his former club Celta Vigo as they thrashed the European champions 4-1 on Wednesday.
Enrique’s men had arrived in Galicia with a 100 per cent record in La Liga, but were well beaten as goals from Nolito and John Guidetti either side of a double from former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas sealed a famous night for Celta.
“When a team has been better than you there is no more to add,” said Enrique, who took charge of Celta during the 2013-14 season before joining Barca.
“I prefer to be beaten by a team that plays like Celta, without any traps and purely on football grounds.
“I congratulate them and urge them to continue playing like that.”
Barca have now conceded four goals in a game three times in just nine matches this season.
However, Javier Mascherano claimed it was being outplayed that concerned him more than last season’s treble winners’ defensive woes.
“It always hurts to lose at Barca. We have a thick skin and all we can do now is think about Saturday and remember what happened last season,” said the Argentine.
“There can be a day when the opponent is better and beats you to every ball. Part of it is our fault and part of it is to their credit.
“We don’t have any excuses. They beat us soundly and we have to keep working. The most worrying thing is that we feel outplayed.”
Celta also stunned Barca 1-0 at the Camp Nou last season and their coach Eduardo Berizzo believes the fearlessness of their performance was worthy of such a sensational result.
“There were special circumstances and a bit of luck that went our way,” he said.
“Our idea is to play the way we did tonight, trying to take the game to the opponent no matter who we are playing.
“The players have delighted the fans. Football and the people present tonight were the winners.
“I congratulate the players because they were perfect.”
Barca’s defeat allowed Real Madrid to go top of the table for the first time this season as they were 2-1 victors at Athletic Bilbao thanks to Karim Benzema’s double.
The Frenchman scored either side of Sabin Merino’s second-half equaliser to take his tally to six goals in his last five games.
“We knew how difficult it would be because we knew how much the fans would drive Athletic forward,” said Madrid boss Rafael Benitez.
“We showed our quality in the first half and then our character and intensity in the second. To win like this reinforces the confidence in the team.”