Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez were again the stars of the show as they were all on target to take the South American trio’s combined total in 2015 to an incredible 125 goals. Victory moved Barça nine points clear of eternal rivals Real Madrid, who face Eibar on Sunday, at the top of La Liga just a week after inflicting a humiliating 4-0 defeat on Los Blancos at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, having also guided Barça to a treble of La Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey last season, Enrique refused to admit he was experiencing his sweetest moment as Barça boss.
“What interests me is to see that the team is at a very high level,” he said. “It is normal to have ups and downs in any season. I am not that interested in whether it is the best moment because I always hope the best moment is still to come. It is not a cliche, there is a long way to go and we will all drop points between now and the end of the season. That we are in a good moment is undoubtable and that the players are enjoying it is evident, but the players are very intelligent. There is no team in the world that has won a league in November or December.”
Neymar opened the scoring for Enrique’s men at the Camp Nou when he swept home Dani Alves’s cross midway through the first-half before Suarez dispatched another Alves cross in more spectacular style to double the advantage. And after Neymar had rolled home a third at the start of the second-half, he and Suarez set about trying to tee up Messi for his first league goal since September in just his third appearance since returning from knee ligament damage. The four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner seemed set to miss out after hitting the bar four minutes from time, but Neymar finally picked out his team-mate in stoppage time for the simplest of finishes to round off the scoring.
“The important thing is at the start of the game to resolve the games in the best way possible and, once the game is under control at 3-0, I understand that it happens,” added Enrique over Neymar and Suarez’s work to get Messi on the scoresheet. “They work together so well that for them the party isn’t complete (until they all score).”
And after so much success over the past decade, Alves insisted the hype surrounding Barça’s stunning form of late won’t lead to complacency.
“We are not losing sight of who we are, independent of the form we are in,” the Brazilian said. “We know this profession is like this. You are not so good when you win, or so bad when you lose. At the end of the season we can make a judgement, but the compliments will not weaken us.”