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Koeman believes that Barcelona still are contenders for the La Liga title

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Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona won 1-0 against Levante on Saturday. After two woeful losses to Cadiz and Juventus, the Catalans got back on track at home to the Valencians. Ronald Koeman, who was not too pleased with the performance on Tuesday, spoke in the post-match interview following the victory (via Barça TV)

“It was a little bit difficult to score today, despite creating many chances. We improved in the second half.”

“We deserved the win today.”

“I feel better, and I feel that we improved today. We played a good match.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

Barcelona played a pretty stale match. Despite dominating the play, the Catalans could not finish their chances and the game looked like it would result in a goalless draw. Koeman has to be happy about his team’s performance, although there are aspects to improve before the Real Sociedad fixture.

“We wanted to defend the lead so we decided to put Umtiti on. Sometimes you have to make such decisions.”

“Riqui was about to come on when the score was nil-nil. But when we scored the plan changed.”

“Obviously, there are things I can’t share with the press. Puig wasn’t played because the score was 1-0, and I thought that it wasn’t necessary for him to participate.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

One of Samuel Umtiti’s first touches of the game was a handball that could have resulted in a penalty. His coach decided to defend the lead and could have paid for it. Koeman’s substitutions did not please some Culés. Riqui Puig could have had an opportunity to shine, just as he did against Juventus. However, seeing Koeman counting on him when he is drawing is refreshing.

“Pedri, Trincão and Umtiti all came on and they did well. Such changes are made to improve the teams rhythm and change the team. They played well and contributed to the win.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

Pedri and Francisco Trincao’s inclusions brought pace and intricacy to the game. They changed the game’s rhythm and had a good performance overall.

“We are improving every day. We played well today, and we expect a difficult match against Sociedad.”

“We are still contenders for La Liga.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference

While the win is positive, the performance was not too brilliant. On Wednesday, Real Sociedad will be the toughest opponent Barça have met this season along with Atlético. The Catalans will have to show more to get something positive from the midweek game. Winning against Sociedad would do a world of good for Barça’s La Liga’s campaign, and prove whether Koeman’s statements hold or not.

As a Lebanese teenager who never had the chance to support their local team, I fell in love with the club that was FC Barcelona at the start of the decade. I always was passionate about writing and this is exactly what I am looking for: sharing my insights and opinions on football.