Gerard Pique made his first appearance for Barcelona since November on Tuesday in the Champions League and did not hide his frustration at his team-mates during the 4-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
The center-back was back in the team after recovering from a knee injury and was captured yelling at team-mate Antoine Griezmann during the first half with the scores at 1-1 after a run by Kylian Mbappe.
Mbappe bagged the equalizer for PSG after Lionel Messi had opened the scoring for Barcelona from the penalty spot. The France international went on to net a hat-trick for PSG, while Moise Kean was also on target to seal an emphatic win.
Griezmann could not find the back of the net during the match for Barca but did have chances to score. The Frenchman saw an early effort saved by goalkeeper Keylor Navas and fired a second chance wide after a good solo run.
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Koeman Talks Pique
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman also spoke about his decision to put Pique straight back in the starting XI for the tie against PSG. The center-back had been out since November with a knee injury but was included in squad and went straight back into the team alongside Clement Lenglet in the backline.
Pique didn’t last the 90 minutes on his return from injury, and Koeman explained his decision to start the 34-year-old. He explained, “we decided, between Gerard, the doctor and I. He felt well, and did not have any problems. But at 1-4 it made sense to take him off.”
Barca’s defensive problems were on show on again versus Paris Saint-Germain, as the hosts also needed goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to pull off some vital saves. The Catalan giants have now gone seven games without a clean sheet in all competitions.
Koeman Offers Honest View of Barca’s Chances
Koeman also spoke about his team’s hopes of progressing in the competition after the full-time whistle. The Dutch coach admits his team have little chance of going through after such a heavy defeat in the first leg, as reported by UEFA.
There’s nothing for it but to accept that they were way superior to us in the second half. They showed they have a more complete team than us. We accept that. But we have to improve things about our play.
We knew that this kind of thing could happen because we’re playing against a great side. Physically and in experience – in fact, in a number of things – they’re well ahead of us.
I could tell you lies but the fact is that at 4-1 down from the home leg, there are very few chances of going through. This match shows us how much we have to improve, particularly at Champions League level.
Barca’s Champions League hopes do appear to be over for another season with PSG now overwhelming favorites to progress. The two teams will meet again for the second leg of their tie on March 10 at the Parc des Princes.
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