Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano says that the club might have answered some critics after a brilliant win over Atletico Madrid.
The 3-1 win over the reigning league champions is a clear statement of intent according to Mascherano, who was part of the Barcelona team that were defeated 1-0 by relegation threatened the Real Sociedad after the season resumed in the first week of January.
The defeat raised further questions about manager Luis Enrique, who has been questioned a lot since the 3-1 defeat against Real Madrid several months ago. Even though Barcelona remain within touching distance of Madrid, Enrique has not been seen good enough to lead the team.
Mascherano says that this victory answers a lot of critics and it makes them shut their mouths for some time. More than the result, Enrique will be very pleased about the way in which his team went out to thrash the opponents. The score could have been much more had Barcelona been more clinical with the huge number of chances that they created. Neymar, Luis Suarez, and Lionel Messi looked to be in sync for the first time this campaign with each of them scoring a goal. The club may have failed to keep a clean sheet yet again, but Mascherano says that Barcelona are on the up.
"We'll take today's game as a reflection of what we can be -- that we can truly be competitive.Above all we need to reinforce that with the games that are coming up. It's important to repeatedly deliver what we produced tonight. First, this weekend against Deportivo, then in the Copa against Elche. We need to try and create a run of positive results with a good quality of play," said Mascherano. "We delivered a very complete game,” said star midfielder Andres Iniesta.