Marc-Andre ter Stegen draws Luis Enrique's praise after Leverkusen tie
Barcelona coasted into the last 16 of the Champions League again thanks to a 1-1 draw against Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday. The result saw the German side fail to qualify for the knockout stages and drop into the Europa League.
Having their place in the next stage already assured, manager Luis Enrique gave youngsters Sergi Samper, Gerard Gumbau, Juan Camara, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Wilfrid Kaptoum a chance to impress against the Germans.
He said: "I felt positive about our performance. I wanted to give the players who have played the most minutes a rest and I saw good signs from us against a team that really had to win.
"Marc was spectacular, really solid and he gave the appearance of dominating the goal area, [the performance] it reinforces him."
Luis Enrique added: "I am happy with the performance of the players from the B team who have featured. At times we were overrun by our opponents, but I leave happy."
Barcelona will be among the top seeds for the draw in Nyon on Monday.
"In the last 16 we will face whoever we are lucky enough to be drawn with," said Luis Enrique.
Enrique's counterpart Roger Schmidt lamented the "tragedy" of Leverkusen's failure to find a goal to beat Barca and qualify for the last 16.
The Germans, who had not won in Europe since matchday one, could have made it through along with Group E winners Barcelona had they bettered Roma's result against BATE Borisov.
Despite the Italians being held to a goalless draw, the Bundesliga side could not conjure up a winner, despite having plenty of chances in the second half as their match ended 1-1 at the BayArena.
"That is a drama. I am shocked that we did not manage to win this game. The fact that BATE Borisov drew in Rome makes it a tragedy for us," Schmidt said.
Barcelona went ahead on 20 minutes through Lionel Messi, only for the in-form Javier Hernandez to soon equalise.
Ter Stegen was kept busy in the Barca goal, but Leverkusen failed to fashion a second goal, and finished third with six points behind Roma based on the head-to-head record.
Schmidt added: "We were not precise enough in some situations, and also the goalkeeper made some good saves.
"We are of course disappointed, but will also take the Europa League seriously."