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Ronald Koeman furious after hard-fought win against Cornella



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

An embarrassing week for Barcelona who were handed a third extra-time game in a row after missing two penalties in regulation time. Miralem Pjanic and Ousmane Dembele were the misses’ culprits, as Ramon Juan came up clutch for the city rivals at their home-ground. Ousmane Dembele’s screamer and a well-worked move from Pedri helped see out the opponents, but an embarrassing performance nonetheless.

Ronald Koeman himself was not best pleased with the outcome of the game and did not shy away from expressing his anger in the post-game press conference, which started with a raging statement from the Dutchman: “We had enough chances to score, and we missed two penalties… You can’t say many more things. We lack effectiveness and we are Barça, we have to have more personality to win the game earlier.”

It seemed like he could not move away from the topic of the missed penalties, and continued on the same beat, saying, “You can’t miss two penalties being Barca players, it’s not serious.”

Barcelona’s regular penalty-taker, Lionel Messi, has been banned for two games, and Koeman has made it clear that he does not have another taker in the squad: “There is not so much pressure to take a penalty because there is no audience. You have to keep a cold mind. Apart from Messi, we don’t have any players who can score penalties consistently. We have to train it more and improve on this aspect.”

Ilaix Moriba made his debut for Barcelona today, playing 74 minutes in the heart of the midfield. Koeman commented on it, and commended him, saying, “We have made some changes in the team. He is a prospect and is important for the future of the club.”

Riqui Puig got his first start of the season, but was taken off at half-time, a decision that was received with extreme hatred across social media. Of course, Koeman had to justify it, and did it by saying, “Riqui was booked, and that’s why I subbed him off.”

Ronald Araujo has accumulated a total of 360 minutes in the last three games without any rest, while Antoine Griezmann and Clement Lenglet have played an upwards of 330 minutes. Fatigue is bound to set in many of these players, and Koeman could not help but agree: “Again 120 minutes. It is an important issue because in three games we had to play in the extra time and it is our fault. We have created opportunities and two penalties…it cannot be possible.”

He continued to talk about how inefficient today in front of goal, even though the effort from the players was top-notch, like it usually is: “I cannot complain about the efforts of the players, but it is not only running but also creating and being effective. It has cost us a lot today. It cannot be and it cannot be accepted.”

Koeman also complimented Cornella, who showed a very high level of defence throughout the game, led by their goalkeeper Ramon Juan. “They played a great game…I understand why they beat Atlético Madrid. His goalkeeper has been the best in the field. We have had enough chances to have an easier match.”

Finally, Koeman talked about bringing on Ousmane Dembele at half-time, who eventually broke the deadlock in the game. “I wanted to have two open wings and more depth. So we put Antoine behind Braithwaite, and two wingers in both flanks. Apart from that, Riqui already had a yellow card.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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