Barcelona – Supercopa The coach reflected on the defeat
Ronald Koeman was tight-lipped over referee Jesus Gil Manzano‘s performance in the Supercopa de Espana final between Barcelona and Athletic Club.
With the match seemingly lost for the Blaugrana, Lionel Messi was sent off in the final minutes of extra time for a swipe out at Asier Villalibre and Koeman was asked about the officiating in general.
“It’s better if I don’t talk,” Koeman said when the referee was brought up afterwards.
“It’d just be repeating things and I don’t like doing that. I’m not going to give my opinion.
“I understand what [Messi] did [at the red card].
“I don’t know how many fouls they committed against him. He tries to dribble and can’t.
“Do I forgive him? I need to see the incident.”
Before the match, there was plenty of speculation over whether Messi would be fit to play given that he missed the semi final with injury.
“After so many years, he knows when he can play and when he can’t,” Koeman said as he defended Messi’s selection in the starting line-up.
“He decided to play and that’s it.”
One of Barcelona‘s downfalls came in giving away freekicks out wide, with Villalibre equalising from one to take the tie to extra time.
“It’s skill on the opponent’s behalf to know how to draw fouls and the players that they have [can be dangerous from set pieces],” Koeman continued.
“It often happens to us, we don’t have tall players.”
Koeman had said before the game that winning a trophy would be a good step in Barcelona‘s development as a team.
“It’s not a step backwards,” he added after defeat to Athletic.
“A trophy goes to show that you’re on the right track. We’re going to show that we’re still [on the right track].
“We did everything to win the game, both teams were very tired.”