Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman believes his team played better in most matches, despite Benfica losing 0-3 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The Dutch coach said in a statement to the Spanish newspaper Marca: “It is difficult to accept the final result. Despite the defeat, I think the team played well until it was 0-2.
“Benfica is a team with strength and speed, I think we should have defended the first two goals better and there are many more teams than us physically,” he added.
Commenting on the reason for replacing defender Gerrard Pique, Koeman said, “We were afraid he would get a second card. It was a stressful match and we saw that Frankie de Jong was better this time.”
He continued, “I will not discuss the status of the team. Everyone knows Barcelona’s problem and can not comment on a team different from previous years. For me it is clearer than water.”
He added: “I can only comment on my work with the team. I feel the support and behavior of the players, I know nothing about the others, and I do not know the status of the club.”
Regarding his future, he replied: “I can not say anything, because I do not know how the club thinks. I do not want to answer questions on this matter, because I do not have it.”
He stressed: “For any coach, failure is complicated. Being at Barcelona having lost two matches in the Champions League is sensible. I fully understand it. I try to change things. There are many things like body level and speed.”
After this defeat, Barcelona were without points under Group E, while Benfica increased their lead to 4 points, with Bayern Munich, the leader, with six points.
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