Ronald Koeman said Barcelona put in ‘the best performance of the season’ to beat Juventus 2-0 in Turin and explains his surprise picks.
Ousmane Dembele opened the scoring early on with an effort deflected off Federico Chiesa, then Lionel Messi converted a penalty for Federico Bernardeschi’s challenge on substitute Ansu Fati.
“We put in a great performance against a very strong team in Europe. We created many scoring opportunities, I am happy with the style of football and the character showed by my squad,” said the coach in his press conference.
“It was our best performance of the season, certainly the most complete. We controlled the midfield and Antoine Griezmann was a little unlucky, but he played well.”
Koeman surprised by leaving Fati on the bench in favour of fellow teenager Pedri.
“The most important thing is the work of the whole team. Pedri is particularly impressive for the character he showed in this situation, knowing his age.
“We had some difficulties in defence, but I knew that Frenkie de Jong could play back there. He already did it for Holland and gave a strong response today too.
“Winning here against a strong European side like Juve will certainly help us going forward.”
Barcelona were in crisis after losing the Clasico, while last night President Josep Maria Bartomeu and the entire board of directors resigned.
“I work as the coach of Barcelona and try to get the best results we can as a team. Today, the squad showed it was not affected by yesterday’s news. President Bartomeu made this decision for the good of the club.”