BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique praised his side for keeping their heads after a frustrating first half and beating Osasuna 3-0 to get back to winning ways in the league following three consecutive draws.
Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi missed clear early chances to break the deadlock at El Sadar, a ground where Barca had won only three of their last nine visits in the league.
Osasuna squandered two chances to take a shock lead either side of the break and Suarez finally found a way through early in the second half before Messi sealed Barca’s first win in four league games with a brace.
“The last few metres are always the most difficult to cross and they had so many players behind the ball but we knew it was vital to score the first goal,” Luis Enrique said.
”Every ground is difficult to win at and the pitch was heavy which complicated how we moved the ball but we go home feeling very happy.
“We should have had a more solid structure and they could have caused us problems on set plays but we finished the game off in a ruthless manner.”
Osasuna remained bottom of the standings and have won only once this season, but Luis Enrique said his side knew they would not get an easy ride.
“We always seem to make it hard for ourselves and we knew it’d be a struggle. We had to get ahead, that was vital to ease our nerves,” added the coach, whose side provisionally cut the gap with leaders Real Madrid to three points.
“They had a chance to score and that would have complicated our lives but I‘m happy with what I saw on the pitch. We knew how to wear down our opponents and in the second half we were effective in the opponents box.”
Editing by Ed Osmond