Barcelona fans were left fuming at manager Ronald Koeman following the team’s 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Saturday in La Liga. The Catalan giants suffered their third defeat of the season to Diego Simeone’s side and are now nine points behind the Rojiblancos in the table.
A poor error from goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen gifted the hosts the lead just before half-time, and Barcelona never really looking like mounting a comeback in the second half.
Koeman’s side now have just 11 points from their first 8 games, making it their worst start to a season since 1991, as reported by Goal.
Fans made their feelings about Koeman pretty clear after the full-time whistle.
Koeman is literally clueless. Just looking at the subs he makes you can tell he doesn't have an idea how to manage a team. His solution is always just to throw on every attacker we have and think that'll get us goals. A true fraud
— Ash (@RiquiiPuig) November 21, 2020
Koeman will go down as the gold standard of the worst coaches to ever manage Barcelona.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) November 21, 2020
I said every time Barca are losing & Koeman starts throwing in attackers. A sign of a mediocre coach.
Attacking more doesn't mean you're attacking better. It's not possible to attack well with a double pivot of Coutinho & Roberto.
— Messi, Laporta, Cruyff, Burofax. En este orden. (@MoRosement) November 21, 2020
How boring are we? Moving like Koeman's Everton out here.
— Guardiolista (@LaComputadora14) November 21, 2020
~30 minutes until Koeman gives a post-match presser about how the result was unfair and they had the better chances and the refs were biased etc
— Eric Coffin-Gould (@coffingould) November 21, 2020
The first half was Meh, this second half is full on trash. Can we just cancel the season?
— Diana Kristinne (@DianaKristinne) November 21, 2020
Barça looking like a group that expects bad stuff to happen. First Fati, now Pique. They look shellshocked.
— kevinwilliams (@kevvwill) November 21, 2020
Koeman and Barca have little time to feel sorry for themselves. The team play again on Tuesday in Kiev in the Champions League before heading back home to host Osasuna in La Liga on Saturday.
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Unwanted Record for Koeman
Atletico’s win over Barcelona means that manager Diego Simeone has finally tasted victory over the Catalan giants in La Liga. It’s a feat the Argentine had never previously managed and means Koeman is the first Barca manager to lose to Simeone in the Spanish top flight.
Diego Simeone's record against Barcelona in LaLiga:
He FINALLY secures his first ever league win over Barca. pic.twitter.com/GpxlWkqpkH
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 21, 2020
The win also moves Atletico into second place in the table, level on points with leaders Real Sociedad but having played a game less. The season is still young but on current form the Rojiblancos look strong contenders for the title.
Meanwhile, defeat leaves Barca down in 10th place in the table. The Catalan giants do have a favorable fixture list over the next few weeks, with games against Osasuna, Cadiz, and Levante to come, but need to improve fast.
Koeman Gives His Verdict on Barcelona Performance
Koeman offered his thoughts after the match to reporters and admitted that his team faced an uphill task after giving away such a poor goal at the end of the opening 45 minutes.
I am happy about the desire of the players. I can’t be critical about the desire of the players to get at least one point in a difficult match. We did not create a lot of opportunities. It was a big present that they scored and it’s always difficult.
It was a big influence in the final result because I think we played well in the first half, we dominated the game, we didn’t create a lot of chances because we know it’s really difficult against a team who defends so well with all the players behind. And then if you make a mistake, like we did, at the end of the first half, it’s more complicated.
The Dutch coach will know his team’s performances and results must improve fast if he is to avoid coming under serious pressure. A difficult night was made even more painful with defenders Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto being forced off with injuries, leaving Koeman short of options in defense.