After beating Alaves 5-1 on Saturday, Koeman, Francisco Trincão, Riqui Puig and Ilaix Moriba spoke about the game which was the last test before facing PSG on Tuesday night.
Koeman was naturally asked about the PSG game this coming Tuesday. He said that “We have the confidence that’s needed to go through. Both teams have a fair share of injuries. We have to play very well if we want to eliminate PSG. It’s gonna be a wonderful game. They are strong, but so are we. In attack, we have to be more effective than ever and in defence we have to be very strong. I think it’s gonna be an even tie.
“We are a team that creates many chances and that should give us a lot of confidence. It would’ve been better to have everyone fit though”
Koeman was given a follow-up question about if Barcelona were favourites against PSG as long as Messi is in the form he’s in right now. The dutchman replied: “We need everyone, not just Leo. It’s easier for him if others look to make runs in behind. He is heavily involved. We need a Messi in top shape to eliminate PSG”
Right before half time, Messi had a goal ruled offside after a marginal offside. Ronald Koeman thought that “You need a magnifying glass to see that offside. I will not say anything else. It’s best not to talk about VAR because it’s not the referee’s fault. I have seen the replay several times and for me it’s not offside. In the end we won and that’s the most important thing”
Koeman handed Puig his 2nd consecutive league start against Alaves and praised the midfielder saying: “He is improving. He always shows confidence and he always puts all his energy into it. He played a great game.”
The Dutch coach also praised Francisco Trincão, saying: “He needed a period of adaptation and time, but he is getting more confident every day. He still has to improve, but lately he’s been more focused and more involved”
Alaves’ only goal of the game was handed to them by a sloppy pass by Ilaix Moriba, who was taken off the pitch straight after. The Barça’s head coach said that: “I haven’t spoken to him yet. You can always misplace a pass, but not a horizontal one like that. He is young and has to learn”
For Koeman, the most important is how the team defends as a whole. “There are always errors, turnovers, the important thing is where you lose the ball, so you not leave yourself open to a counter attack. For me the most important thing is how we are defending. That we defend as a team and are aggressive”
Moriba holds his head high
Moriba himself said that: “I have that error in my head, but i think i played a good game. I’m happy to have given an assist.”
The 2003-born midfielder added: “When i was out there it felt like a dream. I looked up and saw Messi and Griezmann. It was a dream. It was fantastic. I won’t forget this. I just want to be able to play with fans (in the stadium), and for them to be here to support us”
3 goals in one week for Trincão
With his two goals, Francisco Trincão netted his first brace for Barcelona, and his third goal in the last week. He said that: “It’s very easy to play with this team and these players”
He also added that “The game was a bit difficult after the goal, but we didn’t crumble. We continued attacking and when we scored the goal the game became calmer”
Riqui Puig was handed his 2nd league start in a row in todays game, and also stayed on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.
“I felt very good and comfortable. (Playing) next to Busquets everything is easier. He helps us a lot. I’m very happy to have played 90 minutes, it boosts my morale”
Puig also had Ilaix Moriba’s back regarding his mistake that led to conceding a goal, saying that: “Everyone can make mistakes. Ilaix is going to give us a lot of happiness”
Like the Barça patriot he is, Puig also looked forward to the Champions league game against PSG on Tuesday. He is convinced that “We are going to have a great game against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday”