Koeman aghast at 'worrying' defending as Barca confirm Pique 'sprain'

By Sports Desk November 21, 2020

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was left feeling concerned by the manner of Atletico Madrid's winning goal in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Wanda Metropolitano.

Barca travelled to Madrid having won only one of their previous five LaLiga matches, a run of results that already had them playing catch-up in the table.

Defeat – their third in a little over a month – means they could end the weekend in the bottom half of the table, with the Blaugrana seemingly struggling to recover from a tumultuous pre-season off the pitch.

The solitary goal conceded against Atletico came at the end of the first half when Gerard Pique – who was later substituted with a nasty-looking knee injury – failed to cut out Angel Correa's pass, and Yannick Carrasco skipped past the stranded Marc-Andre ter Stegen before slotting into an empty net from 35 yards.

The whole situation left Koeman frustrated.

"It is worrying," he told Movistar. "For a big team, conceding a goal like this ... it can't be, because it's the 47th minute, we had the ball and then they score, 1-0.

"We controlled and we knew that it was difficult to create many chances. We had a pair and with the score 0-0, the game would have been totally different [if they had taken either chance].

"Like any coach, I am responsible for the team's results."

Although the campaign is still in its early stages, Atletico's win saw them go nine points clear of Barca.

Koeman recognised it as a significant gap to bridge and is demanding a streak of wins from his men in response.

"It's a pretty big difference, but there is a lot of the league left and a lot of games," he continued.

"We know that every match is complicated, but after this defeat we have to chain an important winning streak.

"I have seen a team that has fought until the last second to been able to level the game, so in this sense I am not worried."

Barca confirmed after the match that Pique had sustained a knee sprain" though further tests are required to determine the extent of the injury.

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