Barcelona thrashed Dynamo Kyiv this Tuesday. The Catalans are now through to the round of 16. Ronald Koeman shared his thoughts about his team’s performance.
“We met our goal, which was to pull off a good result and qualify for the round of 16. The team had energy, we lacked effectiveness in the first half, but we had it in the second. And good football. We can be very happy.Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference
“Today, we have seen a very hungry team. We scored four goals, important players were able to rest, and the youngsters have deserved these minutes. They have delivered.”
After a horrid start in the league, the least the Catalans could do was qualify for the round of 16 of the Champions League. The Blaugranas did it in style and thrashed pretty much every opposition. The backup players dominated and maybe gave their manager a bit of a headache, but a necessary one. Now, Sergiño Dest or Carles Aleña might get a look in.
“Mingueza could play more matches as a centre-back. Today he proved himself.Ronald Koeman | post-match press conference
“Mingueza must continue working hard. He has shown that he can be relied upon.”
Oscar Mingueza showed so much promise against Kyiv. The defender was cool, calm, and collected. He bullied the Ukrainian attackers and his footwork was perfect. He also assisted Martin Braithwaite. The Spaniard’s debut showed he can be called upon whenever the Spanish giants have an injury crisis, as confirmed by Koeman himself as well.
“Griezmann has played almost every game, and also with the national team. The reason why he only has played 30 minutes today is due to physical constraints.Ronald koeman | post-match press conference
“The rotations today were made to rest players and give others a chance that they deserved.”
With an injury, institutional and results crisis at Camp Nou, the least Koeman could have done was rest his players. Some Blaugranas, like Ousmane Dembélé or Antoine Griezmann, deserved to rest while younger players like Aleña or Riqui Puig waited too long to get minutes. The fringe players did really well to thrash their opposition.
Barcelona’s performance shifted entirely in the second half. After a rather dull first half, the squad improved gradually and overrun Dynamo Kyiv — especially in the midfield, according to Koeman:
“We were better than in the first game against them today, especially in midfield. I liked the collective image we showed today. That’s what we want.”Ronald Koeman | post-match press conference
Koeman will continue his campaign in La Liga against Osasuna on Sunday. There is much more pressure on the Dutchman in that game, considering the fact that the Catalan club made one of their worst starts in La Liga history. Despite the great results in the Champions League, all eyes will be on Koeman’s upcoming results.
Griezmann jokes when asked about his future following Copa championship: “Ask the president”
After being starved of trophies for two years, Barcelona have won silverware, defeating Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa del Rey by four goals to nothing. Lionel Messi was on target twice, while Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann got a goal each as Barça cruise to victory.
Following the game, Griezmann, who opened the scoring for Barcelona, spoke to the media, including about his future. He jokingly replied to that question by saying, “Ask the president.”
He said that he was very proud of the team and how they have managed to turn around the season, “Proud of the team and the work. We know that the season is very long and there are good and bad times. Keep enjoying the team and in the end the reward will come.”
He ended the presser on a celebratory note, saying, “We have to celebrate this title and enjoy it as a result of the work we’ve done.”
The Frenchman has been in excellent form throughout the Copa del Rey campaign and spearheaded the comeback against Granada in the Quarter-finals. He also assisted Gerard Pique for a last minute equaliser against Sevilla when all seemed lost, and has now been rewarded with the first Copa del Rey win of his career. Onto bigger and better things, hopefully.