Luis Enrique unfazed by Suarez petulance

Suarez, who scored one goal and was involved in the other two in a 3-1 victory over the Andalusian side, was clearly not happy as he walked off the pitch to be replaced by Pedro Rodriguez in the closing stages.


But ahead of the King’s Cup semi-final second leg against Villarreal, Luis Enrique said it was not a worry for Suarez to be substituted late in a game.

“I’m not looking at what took place off the field,” he told a news conference.

“When I played I didn’t want to be involved in every minute. In the kickabouts and in matches where the substitutes were playing, I wasn’t bothered about playing then.”

The Catalan side have beaten Villarreal twice in the league this season and hold a 3-1 lead from the first leg at the Nou Camp.

If they can finish off the job they will face either local rivals Espanyol or Athletic Bilbao, who drew 1-1 in the first leg.

“Barca always go out to win the games and the objective in the return leg of the cup is to beat Villarreal,” Luis Enrique said.

“If we win the game then there is no possibility of a surprise.”

Barca’s devastating forward line of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez have scored 32 goals since the start of the year.

“We are in top condition considering the stage of the season and the minutes already played,” Luis Enrique said. “To score will be more than important for us.”

Villarreal held Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in La Liga last weekend and have impressed this season with the quality of their football and a solid backline.

The fact Villarreal coach Marcelino rested several players against Real also suggests they have not written off the tie.

“Until the game starts we don’t know what Villarreal are going to do and this is the doubt,” Luis Enrique said.

“The Villarreal side that we have seen in other league games is different to the one that has faced us,” he added.

“In the other matches they have created chances with the ball, they have been dangerous and used the wings.”

(Editing by Ed Osmond)