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Koeman talks Dembélé, Coutinho, Messi following Eibar draw

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona drew with Eibar to finish off their disappointing run in 2020. Ronald Koeman’s men trailed for a few minutes before Ousmane Dembélé scored a great equaliser. The Dutch manager spoke to the media following his side’s draw.

Koeman believes that the Catalan club deserved to win today, and put an emphasis on the many back-passes:

“Eibar pressed well. We weren’t efficient with our passes in the first half.”

“We deserved to win today as we created many chances, and did everything possible, but in the end, we couldn’t get the win.”

“We made many back-passes today which hurt us, we need to focus more on passing forward.”

“We played well, but the result was not fair.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference (via Barça TV+)

José Luis Mendilibar’s work with Eibar nears perfection. The minnows have defied the odds for the past six seasons by staying up in La Liga. However, they normally get nothing from the Camp Nou, but this time, got their first point away against Barcelona. Eibar suffocated their opponents in the first half and got a deserved point.

Eibar’s press was so efficient that Barcelona had to wait before getting the ball forward, especially in the first half. In the second half, Ousmane Dembélé’s runs helped the hosts in getting in behind the defence and therefore created many opportunities. The 23-year-old is a crucial piece for Koeman, as he explained:

“Dembele is very important to the team. He helps us with his pace and ability to dribble well.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference (via Barça TV+)

The Dutchman also spoke about the transition that the club is going through, similarly to Lionel Messi’s statements in his interview with La Sexta.

“The team is going through a transitional phase. We have youngsters, but at the same time it doesn’t mean we can’t win.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference (via Barça TV+)

Koeman ended his press-conference with words on Philippe Coutinho and Messi:

“Coutinho said he has some discomfort in his knee. He will undergo more tests and we’ll see the type of injury he has.”

“We missed Messi today. You can never say Barcelona play better without him. He always makes a difference.”

Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference (via Barça TV+)

While Messi’s setback does not seem bad, the team dearly missed him on Tuesday. In Coutinho’s case, his absence will probably not be a huge problem for the Catalan club and open up opportunities for the youngsters – but we wish the player a speedy recovery.

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