Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman did not hide his frustration after seeing his team miss two penalties and be taken to extra-time by lowly Cornella in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.
Midfielder Miralem Pjanic missed a penalty in the first half, while substitute Ousmane Dembele sent a second spot-kick straight at goalkeeper Ramon Juan in the second half.
Barca eventually prevailed 2-0 in extra-time, thanks to goals from Dembele and Martin Braithwaite, to take their place in the last 16 of the competition.
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Koeman Talks Penalties
Yet Koeman was far from happy with his team’s performance and spoke about his frustration at seeing his team miss golden chances to break the deadlock from the penalty spot, as reported by Marca.
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
The most important thing is always to get through this tie, but we cannot be happy because we have missed two penalties and we have to have more responsibility in this type of game.
If we had scored one of the two penalties, the game would have been different. You cannot miss two penalties as a Barcelona player because that is not serious. You can always miss a penalty, but you can’t accept missing two penalties. The team has suffered physical wear and tear that is not normal in this type of game.
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.
Barca beat Real Sociedad on penalties in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals but otherwise, their record regarding spot-kicks in 2020-21 makes for pretty grim reading. Pjanic and Dembele are certainly not the only players to miss penalties for Barca so far this season.
👀 – Penalties Barcelona
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Koeman will also surely be concerned that his team have now been forced to play extra-time in their last three games. Barca are back in action on Sunday when they take on Elche in La Liga.
Barcelona into Last 16
Barcelona may not have been particularly impressive but the win does send the team safely into the last-16 of the competition. The draw for the next round will be made on Friday and Koeman isn’t too concerned by who his team will face next.
The Dutch boss added, “I have no preferences in the draw. The Cup is difficult and there are always surprises in the competition.”
La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid were knocked out in the second round by Cornella, while Real Madrid also suffered a shock on Wednesday. Zinedine Zidane’s side suffered an embarrassing exit at the hands of third division side Alcoyano.
Barca will surely fancy their chances of lifting the trophy now two of their biggest rivals have been dumped out, but they will know they will have to play a lot better than this if they are to win the Copa del Rey for the first time since 2018.