FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique declared his side’s 2-0 win against Belarusian champions BATE Borisov on Tuesday in the Matchday 3 of the UEFA Champions League as the “turning point” of the season.
After a goalless first half in the Belarusian city of Barysaw, Ivan Rakitic struck twice in the second to solidify FC Barcelona’s lead at the top of Group E.
Rakitic scored his first goal immediately after halftime as he curled in a glorious drive from 20 yards out after being set up by Neymar. The Croatian international sealed the match 18 minutes later after clipping the BATE goalkeeper from close range.
Turning point in Barcelona’s season
Speaking to the media after the match, FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique hailed his side’s performance against BATE and declared the win as the “turning point” in the club’s season.
“We didn’t suffer in defence because we kept creating pressure. The whole team worked well,” said Enrique (via the club’s official website).
“This win strengthens us. To win with a clean sheet while the other game ended in a draw puts us in a strong position.
“At the moment we seem to need to create a lot of chances in order to score goals, while our opponents can hurt us at the lightest moment. Today we didn’t let in any goals. This might be the turning point.
“We need to keep working to better still. There are things we have improved compared to last season”.
Enrique further went on to praise the performance of 2 goal hero Ivan Rakitic.
“It was a great goal. We created a lot of chances and found it hard to break the deadlock,” remarked the Asturian. “The more different players score the better it is for the team”.
Ivan Rakitic may have turned his season around
After an indifferent start to the season, Ivan Rakitic exploded into form as he scored two glorious goals against BATE Borisov in the UEFA Champions League. Rakitic came on as a substitute in the 18th minute of the match after Sergi Roberto came off with a suspected groin injury.
The Croatian playmaker was instrumental in powering the Blaugrana to a historic treble last season. This season however, Rakitic has been unable to assert the same amount of influence in midfield as he did last season for FC Barcelona.
Rakitic’s timely brace against BATE on Tuesday night may just have turned his season around.