Barça steamrolled Real Sociedad by six goals to one in the Reale Arena tonight, with another excellent performance on the road keeping them within touching distance of the league leaders. Koeman’s Barça have now won 9 consecutive away games in LaLiga.
Here is what Koeman had to say:
Is this the best birthday gift the team could have given you?
“Without a doubt, it was the best gift they could have given me. I’m also happy for Griezmann and Alba, who had their birthday, and who played a great game.”
Can you complain about the team’s efficiency today?
“The truth is, no. Scoring six goals against Real Sociedad is incredible.”
Has the team managed to mature throughout the game?
“They tried to pressure us, but when they saw that they couldn’t, they took a step back. The 0-1 gave us a lot of tranquility and the 0-2 already made it almost final. We have given a very good image.”
What was the key to tonight’s performance?
“We pressed very well without the ball and we were very effective.”
Do you see yourself as a favorite to win LaLiga?
“There is a lot of League left. It is not going to be decided yet. Atlético is strong, but it has been seen against Alavés that it is not easy to win a game. Real Madrid is also in the fight, we cannot forget them.”
With what sensations do you leave tonight?
“With a great result and a demonstration that we are going for it. It is important that not only Messi scores the goals because that way it is more difficult to defend ourselves.”
Do you feel that the players are in the best form of the season?
“We are very well physically and aggressive without the ball.”
Do you dream of the double?
“We continue to chase in LaLiga. We have to keep going. And the Cup there will be time to talk.”
If you win the ten remaining LaLiga games, will you be champions?
“I cannot say that we are not going to lose any game between now and the end of the season, but it is clear that we are on the right track. We are very strong mentally and physically.”
Will you continue with the three-man defence system?
“It is also a risky system because it is played almost one on one. The important thing is the pressure without the ball and I see people with great confidence.”
Why was it so difficult for the team to get to this cruising speed?
“We have had many difficulties since the beginning of the season, we have changed things, any team needs time to learn. We have had some ups and downs in LaLiga, with defensive errors and lack of effectiveness. But it is clear that the team has improved.”
Here is what Griezmann had to say:
How do you rate the game?
“We knew it was a difficult match. It has been difficult for Barça to win in the past here. We came out on top, very strong. All defending and working. The objective was to score a goal, then finish the game. Great work from the whole team, pressing up, with the ball everyone was very fluid.”
On the improved efficiency in front of goal tonight
“Sometimes it is difficult for us to score a goal. Sometimes I fail, sometimes Ousmane, sometimes Martin (Braithwaite). We are improving in everything.”
Why didn’t you celebrate the goal?
“I did not celebrate it out of respect for the years I was at Real Sociedad.”
How do you feel about the new system?
“What is most important for me is being in the field. Then I adapt to the needs of the team. It is clear that with three centers we are much better and with a midfield recovering balls. It is clear that the coach has found the key. But we have to continue with work and more work.”
On Atletico not dropping points
“We have to look at our form. Win the games we have left. We can get the League.”
Will you pay for anything since it is your birthday?
“It’s up to the coach to pay after the great job we’ve done.”
Do you think winning LaLiga is possible?
“There is still a long way to go. We must continue like this. Step by step”
Here is what Dest had to say:
On the win
“It’s incredible, we won 1-6, now we have to keep this way. I’m very happy for the two goals and for helping the team.”
On winning LaLiga
“The team is on a good path and we have to continue like this, we have not finished anything yet. We are scoring, performing well and the coach has many options to choose from.”
On the new system
“This game system suits me very well and the team is doing very well.”