Barcelona Interviews LaLiga

Ronald Koeman: “VAR only goes against Barça”

Ronald Koeman during the clash with Real Madrid, as Barcelona coach / AFP

Barça boss Ronald Koeman has called out the inefficient use of VAR, considering that the tussle between Lenglet and Ramos was not a penalty.

What were you looking for with the eleven [you fielded]?

“The plan was to be in control. We changed Leo’s position and tried to find depth and have players on the wing who had control of the ball. I think we played a good game.”

Since the penalty, why has it taken so long to make the changes?

“First I have let the team recover. And then, trying more speed on the wings with Ousmane and Trincao. We knew it was risky but we were losing. I don’t care about 1-2 as I do about 1-3.”

What did you say to the referee at the end?

“For me, it is not a penalty. I said that I hope they can explain the VAR concept to me one day. The VAR has only gone against Barça. Neither for Messi’s penalty nor in the red card incident. (what did you mean here)? My question is why VAR only is used against Barca. VAR can be very good, but it has to be consistent with all the teams [included]. In five days, the VAR decisions only go against Barça. Messi did not get the penalty against Sevilla and the two red cards in Getafe [are also another example] – there are several examples.”

Have you spoken to Lenglet?

“Lenglet grabs Ramos by the shirt but pulls it back. If you catch him he falls forward, not backwards. It is not a penalty. It is normal for Madrid players to do their best. VAR has to comply. They have concluded that it is a penalty. It was a defining moment.”

Sergiño Dest, who became the first American to feature in the Clásico, then had his turn to speak with the press.

What was it like to play your first Clásico?

“El Clásico is a very nice game to play. It was my first and it’s a shame that we lost to Madrid . It was a very tough game. We had chances, and so did they, but they were a bit more successful and scored the goals. ”

What do you have to say about the penalty?

“I didn’t see if it was a penalty or not.  I don’t know, but for me, we would have to keep playing as part of the game .”

What do you think about the upcoming fixtures?

“We have to keep going and win the next matches.  We have another one on Wednesday against Juve in Champions and we have to win that one.”

Sergio Busquets also expressed his disagreement with VAR in the post match interview.

Do you think it was a penalty?

“The penalty is difficult to assess because in other games there are plays very similar to this one and no whistle is blown. One from the other day against Betis comes to mind. They always say that they have to be very clear plays, with the same criteria, today’s has been too much of a punishment.”

How did the penalty affect your performance?

“In the second half we did well. There was a ball from Alba that Ansu did not get to, and [Philippe] Coutinho’s shot. After the penalty the balance shifted.”