Koeman praises Pedri’s connection with Messi in Barcelona win at Valladolid

Barcelona travelled to Real Valladolid intent on getting back to winning ways after dropping two points to Valencia this past weekend.

The Blaugrana sat sixth after being leap-frogged by Sevilla earlier in the evening and were hoping to regain fifth spot courtesy of a strong away performance and three points.

Ronald Koeman started with a new shape, with three centre-backs named in the starting XI in Ronald Araujo, Oscar Mingueza and Clement Lenglet.

It worked. Barcelona took the lead inside the first half-hour, opening the scoring in the 22nd minute through centre-back Lenglet. Lionel Messi dropped a perfect ball into the area for him to meet with his head and send the Blaugrana one up.

Messi was again pivotal for their second goal. This time he played a cute ball to create space for Sergino Dest down the right flank, who centred for Martin Braithwaite to finish smartly.

The Argentine was rewarded with a goal of his own as the game entered its final stages. Pedri, who’s exhibited a remarkable connection with Messi in his performances this season, played through his captain clean inside the area.

Messi proceeded to arrow a lethal finish past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net, breaking Pele‘s record of the most goals scored for a single club. Messi has now scored 644 for Barcelona.

“Pedri is good player from a more central position between the lines and his connection with Leo and the others is very good,” Koeman said after the game in comments carried by Diario Sport.

“He is playing well, working hard and without the ball is important to our team. It seems he’s comfortable in his game.

The Dutch coach was pleased with Messi’s performance, citing how important it is he’s supported by good players. “He’s working well and is so important to our game in the advanced positions.

“With his creativity, he unlocks the potential of the players next to him, players he realises are good players, and shows how valuable he is. Every team could use a player like him to create danger in the final third.”

Tags Barcelona La Liga Lionel Messi Pedri Real Valladolid Ronald Koeman