Barca were held to a 1-1 draw in their first Champions League game of the campaign away at Roma a fortnight ago and Enrique insisted it is imperative they get all three points against group leaders Leverkusen at the Camp Nou.
Leverkusen’s last trip to the Camp Nou ended in a 7-1 defeat in the knockout stages back in March 2012, in a game that saw Messi become first player to score five goals in a single Champions League game.
However, despite also losing Andres Iniesta to a hamstring injury, Suarez turned the game around in the final 10 minutes as Sergi Roberto tapped home the rebound after the Uruguayan’s initial effort had been saved.
Papadopoulos then proved his worth at the other end in the 40th minute, as the defender managed to clear Sandro’s effort off the line, after Luis Suarez’s strike had crashed against the woodwork.
Messi was hurt on Saturday in the 2-1 win over Las Palmas in the Spanish league.
Barcelona seems to be the most injury plagued team at the moment in terms of their star players since Lionel Messi too has injured his knee which will result with a 2 month pause from football.
“Bayer Leverkusen are a very strong team”.
Enrique pointed out at a press conference Monday that Barcelona was not just missing Messi. They’d not had the history all their own way, though.
Regardless of the news of Messi’s injury, the German club will have to deal with a number of threats from the home side on Tuesday, but will be looking to do what they can to steal something from the clash by using their confidence gained from back-to-back wins in the Bundesliga.
The four-time defending Italian league champions lost for the third time this season over the weekend, falling 2-1 at Napoli.
Barca on the other hand couldn’t Bayer goal, and their first-half malaise continues to be cause for concern – having scored just one goal before half-time in six league games. His ability to create chances out of nothing earned him many assists while playing alongside Daniel Sturridge at Liverpool, and was also the key to form a formidable attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Neymar last season.
With the way the fixtures have worked out and two new signings already queued up for January, Barcelona know that if they are still in the mix when Messi returns then they are favourites for La Liga.
Kevin Kampl missed two good chances before Leverkusen’s opener, and but for a poor finish by Wendell after skipping past Gerard Pique 10 minutes before the break, the visitors could have extended their lead.
Suarez swept Alba’s cross towards goal and goalkeeper Bernd Leno could only palm it into the path of the Barça substitute.