Luis Enrique hails Barca defence after ending Anoeta curse

Luis Enrique hails Barca defence after ending Anoeta curse

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Date: 19 January 2017 19:58

Neymar's penalty saw the Catalan giants to victory at the Basque venue for the first time since 2007, much to the pleasure of their coach

Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique saluted the defensive performance of his team as the Spanish champions edged Real Sociedad to move a step closer to the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

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Neymar scored a first-half penalty to see holders Barca beat hosts Sociedad 1-0 on Thursday, ending their curse at the Anoeta.

Barca had failed to win at the Basque venue since 2007 but Neymar's spot-kick in the first leg of the quarter-final tie changed all that.

"That was the first step towards the semis," Luis Enrique said afterwards.

"But we know that the second part of the tie has yet to come. However, this win was especially encouraging because it came at a ground that has traditionally been so difficult for us.

"The team worked really hard, with effort, attitude and concentration at all times. I'd highlight the solidity in defence of the whole team. We managed to keep almost all of the football in their half and that meant that our virtues shone through rather than those of Real.

"[Goalkeeper Jasper] Cillessen's long kicks were a great way to deal with the deep pressure they generated.

"For the second leg, this result is going to force them to come at us and try to score. That will make for a really attractive game."


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