Barcelona are the first team in Europe’s top-five leagues to score 100 goals in all competitions this season.
Luis Enrique’s side reached the milestone thanks to a 3-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on Saturday – a result that moved them a point behind LaLiga leaders Real Madrid, having played two games more.
Paco Alcacer and Lionel Messi scored in the first half before Aleix Vidal struck the 100th of their campaign with a bouncing half-volley that eluded goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.
Athletic started arguably the stronger of the two teams before Paco Alcacer struck a blow with his first league goal for the champions after 18 minutes.
Luis Enrique was delighted to see the striker end his wait to find the net in LaLiga and felt the goal helped to kill off the early confidence shown by the visitors.
“I enjoyed it almost more than the goals that I scored,” he said.
“I am happy for Paco, not just because of the type of player he is, but also because of how he is as a person. I always have a special empathy for individuals who are keen to succeed.
“A game against Athletic is never comfortable. We tried to overcome the high pressing they did to us. We found spaces and the goals made us more relaxed, while it seemed to bother them. Then their physical level dropped.
“We’re happy with the result, to see that the squad is competitive and also that we were able to make some rotations. We won three fantastic points.”
Barca’s win was soured by the loss of Gerard Pique to an adductor injury, while midfielder Rafinha sustained a nasty cut to the head after an accidental collision with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Luis Enrique believes Pique’s problem was simply due to a hectic run of fixtures but could not say whether either will be available to face Atletico.
“With Pique, it’s an overload, a symptom of the calendar,” he said.
“The cut on Rafinha was impressive. I don’t know yet if they will play on Tuesday.”