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Koeman hints at a more defensive Barcelona after pre-season win

Ronald Koeman
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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman hints the club could adopt a more defensive style to their game ahead of the new season.

Ronald Koeman took charge of his first Barcelona game on Saturday. It was a friendly match that ended in a 3-1 victory for the Catalans against Gimnastic de Tarragona.

Ousmane Dembele opened the scoring early on in the 6th minute. Penalties from Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho in either half went on to seal what was an easy stroll for Barca.

For the game itself, Koeman left Barca fans thinking after deciding to use a 4-2-3-1 formation for the game. It is a setup the Spanish giants rarely ever used in the past.

Sergio Busquets and Carles Alena began the match as the holding midfielders before being replaced by Frenkie de Jong and Riqui Puig.

After the game, Koeman stressed that having two midfielders at the base will allow the team attack with much more flair going forward.

“It may be different and somewhat more defensive than what has been seen in recent years, but the objective is to move the ball, hold on to it and find the spaces to play between the lines, and behind rival midfielders,” Koeman said post-match as per Goal

“I think this team can do it because we have midfielders to play like that.

“The most important thing is that fortunately there have been no injuries. Everyone has played 45 minutes. There were moments of good intensity. There are always things to improve on but we’re happy. We have been here for two weeks and we have two more to go.

“It is important that they already play because it is not a normal pre-season. We only have four weeks, not six. It is complicated. What we want to do now is physical work and in the next two weeks work on the tactical side more.”

Koeman must have been pleased as well to see Lionel Messi back in action and smiling after his recent contract saga.

Barcelona will play another pre-season friendly on Wednesday against Girona before kicking off their La Liga season against Villarreal on September 26.