Turin, April 12 (IANS) FC Barcelona chief coach Luis Enrique has taken the entire blame for the Catalan football giants' 0-3 defeat to Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-finals tie here.
Barcelona have been underwhelming this season losing to Malaga in the weekend and then conceding two goals by halftime against Juventus on Tuesday. Paulo Dybala scored both the goals with Giorgio Chiellini adding gloss to the scoreline with a third strike.
"It was a difficult first half, very similar to the one in Paris and the second was much better. If you gift the first half, then obviously you're going to have problems," Enrique was quoted as saying by Mediaset.
"A coach does everything to help the team and prepare them, but evidently I did not. We have to improve, learn from these mistakes, analyse the game carefully and realise where we went wrong.
"It's the second time this has happened. It's hard to think of a remuntada (comeback), but we'll try to get back on our feet and put in a good performance in the second leg.
"It's not good to pick on single players after a defeat. It's a defeat for the whole team, starting with the coach."
In the round of 16 tie, Barcelona lost 0-4 against Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16, only to win the return leg 6-1 and go through 6-5 on aggregate -- the first time such a first-leg deficit had ever been overturned in the European Cup.
"The feelings as manager are lamentable and it's difficult to explain. Positioning was a shipwreck, I wasn't able to transmit it well," he admitted.
"I take responsibility 101 per cent. We had better positioning in the second half, but the rival also let us have the ball. We created clear chances, but when you're having a nightmare like we had today you don't have that spark needed to take them.
"I don't have any energy to think about it now, but tomorrow will be the moment to pick ourselves up again and thing about getting three goals to level the tie and four to win it."
Enrique said he cannot erase first half woes out of his head. "I can't get the first half out my head. It's a shame because I saw the players with the intention to compete and to fight for the Champions League, but we've once again made errors," he pointed out.
"It doesn't matter if I think the result is fair or not, it is what it is. It was the third half off Paris and leaves a lot to be desired.
"I have little appetite to talk about the future now. Even though I am optimistic, it's natural I also pass through moments when I grieve. I am 100 per cent responsible and that's difficult."