Ronald Koeman: “Today we’ve shown that we’re not inferior to Real Madrid”

Barcelona welcomed Real Madrid to Camp Nou this Sunday afternoon in El Clasico, the most iconic fixture in European football. Madrid pulled off a comfortable 2-1 away win.

The result means Madrid are now top of La Liga, overtaking Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Osasuna. Barcelona are down in eighth, three points behind Atletico Madrid and a Champions League place and five behind the team that beat them today.

It was Madrid that struck first blood. Ancelotti’s side broke quickly and intelligently before Rodrygo teed up David Alaba to score in the 32nd minute – a genuinely stunning strike from the left side.

 

Madrid got their second through Lucas Vazquez in the 94th minute, putting the final nail in Barcelona’s coffin. The Galician capped off a move that, again, was a perfectly executed break.

Sergio Aguero clapped back in the 97th, however, to score his first goal for Barcelona. Sergino Dest did well down the right side before cutting it back for the Argentine, who produced a trademark finish. But it was to prove a mere consolation.

“It’s true that we were good in the first half, we controlled the game well,” Ronald Koeman said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “We had a great opportunity to get ahead on the scoreboard. But in the second half, they did their thing and defended well. We couldn’t create danger.

“With their counterattack, you have to be vigilant. The team did their best to draw level, even at 2-1. I’m disappointed with the result but not by what we’ve done as a team.

“In a Clasico, defeat means more than losing three points. But there’s no time to be down. On Wednesday we play another game. We have no choice but to get up. Today we can be sad, but beginning tomorrow we have to prepare for Wednesday.

“The players, like everyone connected to Barcelona, are disappointed with the final result. It has to be like this. But we must also analyse what we’ve done well, and we had the help of the public. But there’s no time to lower our arms and give up.

“[An improvement] has to be demanded, of course. I understand the frustration of the people. But today we’ve shown that we’re not inferior to Real Madrid. If we had went 1-0 up instead of going 1-0 down, everything would have changed.”

Tags Barcelona La Liga Real Madrid Ronald Koeman