Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman felt defender Gerard Pique was harshly dealt with after being sent off in his team’s 5-1 Champions League win over Ferencvaros.
The center-back saw red in the 68th minute for a professional foul after hauling back Tokmac Nguen. Pique must now sit out next week’s trip to Juventus due to suspension.
Koeman spoke after the game and said he felt the award of a penalty and a red card was “too much punishment” but went on to praise his side for how they played in the final 20 minutes with a man down, according to Marca.
The Barcelona boss also made it clear how happy he was with his team’s performance and in particular the displays of young stars Pedri, Francisco Trincao, and Ansu Fati.
They are players who need minutes, rhythm. Trincao has created many problems on his side, Dembélé has entered well, he has scored, he has created danger … and that is what you want as a coach, to give more rhythm.”
We played a good game. It was difficult for us to come into play with the rhythm of the ball that we want to impose. I think our problem is that sometimes we slow down the rhythm and pressure. I think that if we are able to maintain that rhythm, we are very good That is the key, for me.
We can be very happy about the evolution of our players. Knowing how old they are, how they work and how they perform. Pedri can play in all positions. He is smart. We are very happy and not only because of those two players. They have a great future. for them and for the club.
Teenagers Fati and Pedri were both on target in the match to ensure Barcelona made more Champions League history, per Opta:
Captain Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and fit-again Ousmane Dembele were also on target in an emphatic win for the Catalan giants in their first Champions League group fixture of 2020-21.
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Koeman Looks Towards El Clasico
Barcelona and Koeman will now turn their attentions to Saturday’s Clasico clash with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. However, the Dutch coach gave little away when asked about his possible team selection.
We will see what happens on Saturday, which is another game. I have the job of sending out the best team for each moment. We’ll see if [Ansu Fati] plays. I don’t think about Madrid yet. It will be from tomorrow. We can be very happy with Ansu’s performance.
You cannot ask for more from this team at the moment. We are doing well. We have not won every game and we can improve. We will have a great future, but we have to improve. We have to be calm because there is room for improvement. The team is going to go, playing better, more like a team. We need time.
Barcelona’s big win sets them up nicely for the visit of Real Madrid, and they will also have an extra day’s rest before the game. Real Madrid open their 2020-21 Champions League campaign on Wednesday at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.