Barcelona were stunned 2-1 at Deportivo La Coruna, opening the door for Real Madrid to reclaim top spot in La Liga later in the day.
Luis Enrique refused to make excuses for his Barcelona side as their 19-game unbeaten run in La Liga was ended by Deportivo La Coruna just four days after they produced a remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain. The last game can always play a role.
Manager Pepe Mel's side struck first as Joselu gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at half-time in rainy conditions, and Alex Bergantinos followed up with a 74th-minute victor following Luis Suarez's equaliser after the break.
With Deportivo coming into the game unbeaten in three matches since Pepe Mel took charge at the start of the month, this was always going to be a hard fixture.
"It's a step back, but every team drops points and we're still alive in the championship".
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Luis Enrique's charges struggled to carve out clear cut chances and had to wait until the 37th minute for their first meaningful opening when Lux did well to cut out Sergi Roberto's cross, which was destined for Luis Suarez.
"We didn't have the fluidity we needed to overcome their deep defending".
"We'll continue to fight for the league title until the end". They grew in confidence and we made errors. Their goal took its toll on us. "We have to accept this defeat and remember there's a lot of games left". Yet, the Catalans have not won a La Liga game without the former Lyon since the 4-0 win over Deportivo themselves in October.
Describing the players as "not machines", the defender also stated his side wouldn't have swapped going out of the Champions League with a win at the Riazor, so they are not too anxious. Today it was crucial that we scored first but they did.