Barca boss Koeman defends Messi after crimson card in Supercopa loss
Ronald Koeman empathised with Lionel Messi’s frustration after the famous person captain was despatched off in Barcelona’s Supercopa de Espana closing loss in opposition to Athletic Bilbao.
Messi noticed crimson for the primary time in his illustrious membership profession as embattled LaLiga giants Barca had been upstaged 3-2 by Athletic after further time in Seville on Sunday.
After Athletic star Inaki Williams struck within the third minute of additional time, Messi swung at Asier Villalibre in an off-the-ball incident that was noticed by VAR and referee Jesus Gil Manzano brandished a crimson card.
Messi – who has been tipped to depart Camp Nou amid hyperlinks with Manchester Metropolis and Paris Saint-Germain – is going through a prolonged suspension, however Barca head coach Koeman defended the 33-year-old.
“I can perceive what Messi did,” Koeman mentioned afterwards.
“I don’t know what number of occasions they fouled him, and it’s regular to react once they preserve making an attempt to foul you as a participant who’s seeking to dribble with the ball, however I must see it once more correctly.”
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Messi, who was fouled eight occasions in opposition to Athletic, recovered from a minor damage to return to Barcelona’s line-up in his 753rd look for the Catalan membership.
“Leo, after so a few years within the elite of soccer, is aware of completely if he’s in situation or not,” Koeman mentioned.
“We spoke earlier than, he mentioned he was in situation to play the sport, he has given his most and nothing else.”
Antoine Griezmann scored twice for Barca, together with the Fortieth-minute opener, however his targets had been cancelled out on each events at Estadio de La Cartuja.
Athletic’s Oscar de Marcos equalised within the forty second minute earlier than substitute team-mate Villalibre compelled further time on the demise, after Griezmann had restored Barca’s lead with 13 minutes remaining.
Williams stepped up with a elegant purpose as Barca – third in LaLiga and 7 factors adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid – missed out on their first title beneath Koeman, who changed Quique Setien forward of the 2020-21 marketing campaign.
“We’re unhappy, upset by the outcome,” Koeman added. “We performed the ultimate to win and to not lose that, sure. However there isn’t a time to get off. We’ll be taking part in quickly, there’s a cup and a league, there’s no time for regrets.
“We’ve achieved optimistic issues, we have now improved. We’ve failed within the targets acquired. We’ve to be extra forceful in defence. We should defend higher within the space and never let the opponents assume, they can’t management, flip and shoot simply. We are able to enhance.
“My work … I give the utmost I can. My work is just not excellent if we had gained, nor very unhealthy for dropping. We’re on the best way, there are optimistic issues, though dropping at present may be very arduous.”
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