The players had fun against Celtic, says Barcelona coach

Barcelona celebrates a goal against Celtic. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona celebrates a goal against Celtic. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Barcelona’s players had “fun” during the 7-0 victory over Celtic, according to Luis Enrique, coach of the Catalan side.

Barca had gone into the Champions League game on the back of a rare domestic defeat, losing to Alaves 2-1.

But it didn’t take them long to overcome the disappointment. With the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar making their first start together of the season, they ripped Celtic apart in the Group C opener.

Messi scored a hat-trick, Suarez netted twice and Neymar scored once and set up four goals at the Nou Camp, giving Barcelona their biggest ever Champions League win.

“We all know the quality of the trident,” Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic said. “They always turn up when we need them.”

The three players hadn’t begun a match together since last season. Neymar arrived late because of the Olympics, and coach Luis Enrique had been rotating his starters following the summer break and a round of World Cup qualifiers.

“We finally got a chance to start together and we were able to help the team earn the three points,” Suarez said. “We have scored a lot of goals in the past, but the important thing is that these goals lead to titles.” Since the three players joined forces in the 2014-15 season, they have scored 50 of the club’s 56 goals in the Champions League. The shared 131 goals last season, with Suarez leading the way with 59.

“Messi, Neymar and Suarez create a lot of damage when they are together, and we have to take advantage of that,” Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes said.

“We had an opportunity to move forward after that loss [to Alaves] and we were able to do it,” said Andres Iniesta, who came in as a substitute and scored against Celtic.

Luis Enrique added: “We practically didn’t commit any mistakes. The players had fun, and that allowed the Barca supporters to have fun.”