Luis Enrique backs himself on Suarez omission

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Luis Enrique felt his decision to leave Luis Suarez on the bench was vindicated as Barcelona hammered Elche 6-0.

Luis Suarez's 28th birthday present from Luis Enrique was to be left on the bench, but the Barcelona coach was content with his decision after a 6-0 La Liga thrashing of Elche.

Barca had already beaten struggling Elche three times - and scored 12 goals in the process - this season ahead of the clash at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero and they dished out more punishment to the Liga strugglers, though Suarez was an unused substitute.

In his absence, Gerard Pique opened the scoring, while Lionel Messi and Neymar grabbed two apiece and Pedro wrapped things up, with Faycal Fajr sent off tor the hosts.

When asked about Suarez's omission, Luis Enrique said: "I do not know any player who likes to be taken out, we know that only 11 can play, and the coaches must choose.

"The team reinforces itself in a standout way. It shows what this team and squad has, and what we can be in the immediate future.

"I saw a game which lasted 90 minutes and had different phases. At the start, the opponent is fresh, with big defensive ideas, and that means it is difficult. You try and move the ball around as well as possible.

"Also, the pitch was not in the best condition. The goal took a while to arrive, but we made chances. From then on we were liberated, and controlled the game better.

"These games are usual over the course of the season, and are difficult to resolve. I am happy with the team over the 90 minutes."

The result saw Barca stay within one point of leaders Real Madrid.