Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has sent a message to supporters after Saturday’s Clasico defeat to Real Madrid at the Camp Nou.
The Dutch coach took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the result and offer a few thoughts for the future.
Barcelona went down 3-1 to their fierce rivals and slipped six points behind Zinedine Zidane’s side in the league table. The turning point of the game came at 1-1 when Real Madrid was awarded a penalty for a shirt pull by Clement Lenglet on Sergio Ramos.
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Barca Rage at Penalty Decision
The decision to award the spot-kick to the visitors left Barcelona enraged. Koeman approached referee Juan Martinez Munuera at the full-time whistle and questioned his decision, according to Marca.
“What was it for?” Koeman is reported to have said. “Tell me. You also saw the images from last week against Getafe, with those two challenges. VAR is only going against us.”
The Dutch coach was also critical of the decision in his post-match press conference and insisted that “for me it is not a penalty.” Ramos converted the spot-kick, while Luka Modric deepened Barca’s gloom by adding a third late on.
Barcelona director Xavi Vilajoana was also furious at the decision. According to Marca, he wrote an expletive-filled post on Twitter where he claimed the decision was a “scandal.”
There were also protests in the local press. Catalan daily newspaper Sport ran the headline ‘Clasico Robbery’ on Sunday as the fallout from the big game continued.
Koeman’s Problems Piling Up
Koeman must now try to get his team back to winning ways but has a tricky game up next on Wednesday. The Catalan giants face Serie A champions Juventus in Turin in the Champions League.
Koeman is expected to replace Pique with 21-year-old center-back Ronald Araujo, while it’s not yet clear how he will shape his team without Coutinho. One solution would be to bring Antoine Griezmann back into the team.
Griezmann has started the last two matches on the bench for Barca after enduring a tough start to the season. The World Cup winner has played five times for Barca in 2020-21 but has not managed a single goal or an assist.
Another player struggling in front of goal is the usually prolific Lionel Messi. The 33-year-old has not scored from open play this season and his two goals have both come from the penalty spot
Goal’s Rik Sharma has described Messi as potentially becoming a “big problem” for Barcelona if he can not deliver his usual glut of goals in what could be his final season for the club.
Both Koeman and Messi will be hoping that the captain can rediscover his goalscoring touch quickly, and a goal or two against Juventus on Wednesday would go a long way to relieving the pressure on the Barca boss.