The manager of FC Barcelona, Ronald Koeman has insisted that his players are still in support of him after an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Benfica on Wednesday.
However, the Dutch tactician noted that he was not sure about having the backing of the club’s board that is currently battling to save the club from going bankrupt.
After recording a 0-3 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in Barcelona’s first Champions League group game this season, Ronald Koeman was expected to find a way to turn things around against Benfica.
To the dismay of many Barcelona fans who are gradually getting used to watching their beloved Barca team suffer in games, the Spanish side recorded just a goal on target against Benfica on Wednesday.
As for the host club, the Benfica players were everywhere giving Ronald Koeman and his boys no breathing space.
The match became out of control for Koeman when 22-year-old Uruguayan striker, Darwin Núñez scored Benfica’s first goal of the match in the 3rd minute of the first half.
After that, Benfica continued to press Barcelona but they were not able to score another goal for the rest of the first half.
In the second half, Benfica continued from where they stopped in the first half. The pressure on Barcelona earned them a second goal, thanks to a 69th-minute strike from 28-year-old Portuguese attacking midfielder Rafa Silva.
Things became more complicated for Barcelona when Núñez made it 3-0 via a spot-kick in the 79th minute.
When Barcelona were trying to get at least a consolation goal, Eric García committed a red card offense and got sent off in the 87th minute. Barcelona were able to stop Benfica from scoring more goals until the end of the game. Hence, the game ended 3-0 in favor of Benfica.
After the game, the embattled coach of Barcelona, Ronald Koeman admitted that it is always difficult for a coach to remain at the Spanish club if such a coach loses two conservative Champions League games. He insisted that he won’t argue about the level of his team.
He said: “I feel supported, very supported by my players here at Barcelona. And by the club? I don’t know.
“I’m not going to argue about the level of my team. There’s no point in comparing this with Barcelona teams of years gone by. That’s as clear as water.
“I can only give you my opinion of my work at the club – I feel backed by my players and their attitude.”
On the 3-0 defeat to Benfica, Koeman added: “The final result is hard to accept, it’s not the result we saw on the pitch,” he confirmed.
“I think the team played well until 2-0, we had very clear opportunities to score.
“That’s how you change the game; if they score one of their few chances and get three goals, then there is a big difference.”
While on his job at Barcelona, he noted: “For any coach, it is always difficult. Being at Barcelona, if you don’t win two Champions League games, it’s a delicate situation. I completely understand.
“It’s trying to change things and you have to give the team time. There are footballing things where we are inferior, physically and in terms of speed.”
As it stands, FC Barcelona are currently sitting at the bottom of the UEFA Champions League Group E with no point in two games. This means that if Barca’s campaign continues like this, they may end up in Europa League for the first time in decades.