Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says an impending fixture against Manchester City had nothing to do with Saturday's home defeat to Malaga.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says Saturday's 1-0 Liga defeat to Malaga had nothing to with the distraction of having to face Manchester City three days later.
The Camp Nou outfit head to the Etihad Stadium for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, but the sides head into the fixture on the back of contrasting results.
While City stormed to a 5-0 victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League, Barca lost for the first time in 12 matches at home to Malaga to slip four points behind title rivals Real Madrid.
But Luis Enrique – who also laughed off questions about members of his squad visiting a casino before flying to Manchester - has dismissed suggestions his players took their eye off the ball.
"No, we went into the game with Malaga in top condition, thinking only about the difficult game ahead," he said. "It would have been ridiculous to go into such a difficult match thinking about another game.
"We just didn't know how to deal with Malaga's defence, it had nothing to do with thinking about Manchester City.
"These things do happen.
"We're out to win all titles. Losing a game with limited games left is a complication, but we still have time to catch the leaders.
"After a defeat, it's good for us to play again three days later."
Barca met City at the same stage last season, with the Catalans progressing courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate win.
Asked whether the gap between the sides had grown or shrunk since then, Luis Enrique responded: "I don't know if it's a bigger gap or a narrower gap but we are two teams who are aiming to win the championship."comments