Koeman worried about Barcelona after equal worst LaLiga start

By Sports Desk October 31, 2020

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman admitted he is worried about the stuttering club following their equal worst LaLiga start.

Barca equalled their worst tally of LaLiga points after six games since the Spanish competition reverted to three points for a win following Saturday's 1-1 draw at 10-man Deportivo Alaves.

Antoine Griezmann cancelled out Luis Rioja's opener with 27 minutes remaining to salvage a point for Barca, who have just eight points to already be as many points adrift of defending champions and bitter rivals Real Madrid.

Barca – who languish in 12th place amid a four-match winless streak in LaLiga – have the same total of points as they managed at the start of the 2002-03 campaign under Louis van Gaal.

"I'm worried by our performance in attack," Koeman – in his first season at the helm after replacing Quique Setien – said. "It's not an attitude problem, nor concentration, but it's a question of being more assured in front of goal.

"It happened to us against Juventus and today as well. Furthermore, we gifted Alaves their goal. But if we create that many chances, we can't miss so many. If you create chances and you only score one, it's not good.

"Of course I'm worried that we've only picked up two points from the last 12 [available]. I think the play has been, in general, very satisfactory. I'd be more worried if we weren't creating chances.

"We have to perform better in front of goal. The final pass, the final shot. We can't miss so many [chances]. We're missing too many."

Lionel Messi's struggles also continued – the superstar Barca captain has now gone 877 minutes without scoring in open play.

Messi's last open-play effort came against Napoli in the Champions League back in August, although he has scored three penalties and one free-kick since then.

Koeman made three changes at half-time, introducing Miralem Pjanic, Pedri and Trincao for Sergio Busquets, Clement Lenglet and Ousmane Dembele following Rioja's 31st-minute opener.

"I wasn't happy with the first half," said Koeman. "I made three changes because I wasn't happy and there were some players on a yellow card.

"If you criticised me the other day for making changes too late, today I made changes at half-time. I wasn't happy with our first half and there were people on the bench with the capability of scoring. I wanted to change things to win the game."

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