Luis Enrique savoured a “glorious” El Clasico victory and claimed Barcelona’s 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu would “go down in history”.
With Lionel Messi only fit enough to start the match on the bench following an eight-week injury lay-off, Barca made light work of Rafa Benitez’s men.
Luis Suarez gave the visitors an 11th-minute lead, Neymar doubled the advantage before the break and in the second period Andres Iniesta scored a goal worthy of his all-action performance.
Suarez added a fourth, following a pass from substitute Messi.
“This victory tastes glorious because it is against our eternal rivals and, as well as the victory, it will be very difficult for us to better this performance,” Luis Enrique said.
“This game will go down in history, it will be remembered by all Barcelona fans. This squad won the treble last year and it is one of the best squads you could hope for.”
Although the victory took Barcelona six points ahead of Madrid at the top of La Liga, the coach was careful to not suggest his side were the favourites to win the title.
“There is still a long way to go and this is by no means decisive, but we leave here feeling very, very satisfied,” he said.
“Winning like this against players of such a high level is difficult, but we managed to pull off what we were hoping to do throughout the game. I don’t think Real Madrid gave up, I just think we were a level above them and we outnumbered them in many areas of the game and we were very effective. The game is more of a reflection of our merits than Madrid’s faults.”
The coach also explained the decision to wait until the 57th minute before introducing Messi.
He added: “I decided it during the week and I wanted to get feedback from him and it was a relatively easy decision to make, and Leo also understood it.”