Barcelona's best 40 mins under me came at Man City - Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique says the first 40 minutes against Manchester City were the best Barcelona have played since he took charge, but he wants a 90 minute performance at Sevilla this weekend.

Barca led in England through Lionel Messi's early goal, but they lost their way after Ilkay Gundogan's equaliser just before half-time and were eventually beaten 3-1.

They return to La Liga action on Sunday with a difficult trip to the Sanchez Pizjuan, taking on a Sevilla side who have won all of their league matches at home this season.

"If you look at the first 40 mins in Manchester it was the best 40 minutes of my time here," Luis Enrique told a news conference on Saturday, insisting it was even better than the 4-0 win over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last season.

"There was another 50 minutes where City were better than us. So in short it doesn't matter what you do, how well you play, if you don't win the game. I have to recognise we were deservedly beaten [by City] and focus on the next game.

"People are quick to praise [us] when we do well and to criticise when we're poor. We need to be calmer with reflections and make assessments at end of season -- it's unfair to judge so early.

"Look at my first season [at Barcelona]: questions were asked about the coaching, the team and then we ended up winning the treble, so be careful before criticising."

Sevilla are the only side in Spain's top flight to boast a 100 percent winning record at home and became the only team to beat Atletico Madrid in any competition this season in their last game at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

Under new manager Jorge Sampaoli they sit fourth in the table, one point behind Barca, and they are also top of a Champions League group featuring Juventus.

Luis Enrique feels they've improved under the Chilean, who replaced Unai Emery in the summer, and sees no reason why they won't be in the title shake-up come the end of the campaign.

"Sevilla change a lot of players each year and this season they've changed their manager as well," the Barca coach said.

"They have not just maintained their results, but improved because in La Liga they're more solid, winning five out of five at home, including against Atletico. We know the difficulty of the game and we need to be at our best.

"They've had a good start to the season, playing good football and are high in the table. It will depend on Sevilla [if they stay there] and the usual favourites, but they're there on merit and they could be in the fight for the title."

Barca were beaten 2-1 at Sevilla last season, although they did win there in August in the Spanish Super Cup.