Ronald Koeman is a relieved man after Barcelona beat Elche 3-0.
“We needed to win after the two results,” Koeman said at full time.
“We had a great second half, we made the difference. We should have done better in the first half.”
Ahead of the match, Koeman had singled out experienced players, calling on them to take more responsibility. Lionel Messi responded and scored twice against Elche.
“When I’m talking about the veterans, I’m not referring to him because Messi is still scoring lots of goals,” Koeman explained.
“It’s the others who have to make the difference, not Messi.
“He’s still scoring, like he showed today.”
Messi’s frustration at the lack of impetus shown by Barcelona in the first half was clear to see for those in the stadium and watching at home.
“Everyone could see that we were lacking intensity and rhythm, especially on the ball,” Koeman added.
“It’s good that Messi, as the captain, is asking for intensity.
“[The reason for the lack in intensity] could be anything. Let’s not forget that we’ve played a lot of games.
“A player can get tired. There are lots of substitutes to try to freshen [the team] up. We’re always looking for the best thing for the match we’re playing.
“Players like Antoine [Griezmann] have played so many games. We had to find freshness.
“Sometimes you have to make changes to freshen things up.”
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