Barcelona were humiliated 4-1 in the UEFA Champions League last night by Paris Saint-Germain. The man who seemed absolutely clueless about what was going on at the Camp Nou pitch was head coach Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman made some questionable decisions that have left his side with a mountain to climb in order to make it past the Round of 16 in Europe’s elite club competition.
Paris Saint-Germain almost have a foot in the quarter-finals with four away goals to their credit. The fact that the French side were able to achieve this emphatic scoreline even in the absence of Neymar Jr and Angel di Maria speaks volumes of the sort of performance Barcelona put in. As things stand, Ronald Koeman’s days at the helm in Barcelona seem numbered. The 4th Official lists out the two major tactical disasters from the Dutch gaffer –
Ronald Koeman Mistakes Against PSG
Gerard Pique In The Starting XI
The Spaniard was surprisingly a part of the starting eleven at the Camp Nou Stadium, ahead of Mingueza and Umtiti who were on the bench. However, this decision did not seem to make sense at all at the end of the night. Pique was injured and out of action from November 2020 and getting him straight into the mix was a poor managerial decision.
The player could barely keep up with the pace of the game. It was not some Primera Division fixture, it was a fixture against the reigning French Champions and the runners up of last seasons Champions League, Paris Saint-Germain. The game was bound to take a test of Pique’s match fitness levels and it was evident that the defender was gasping for breath by the time Koeman finally decided to withdraw him in the second half.
Barcelona did not seem prepared for the storm that was awaiting them in Kean, Mbappe and Icardi. Paris Saint-Germain’s tactics of spreading the play wide and hitting Barcelona with runs on the wings were evident from the first whistle. Ronald Koeman failed to acknowledge this humongous threat and paid the price for it at the end of the ninety minutes.
Sergino Dest was too lonely and isolated against the mighty Kylian Mbappe who was running past him with ease. Koeman could have certainly made the wings more crowded with players like Griezmann and Dembele dropping by to help. The fact that Koeman did not address this problem even after being alarmed on a couple of occasions shows that tactical incapabilities of Koeman to adapt and improvise. Barcelona are a club with great history and a great reputation to look after and embarrassments like the ones against Liverpool, AS Roma, Bayern Munich and now Paris Saint-Germain can not be afforded.
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