– Ronald Koeman guided Barcelona to a 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao
– The Catalans resolve was tested earlier in the game but they showed the quality they are made of
– The Dutchman is satisfied with the players for the way they reacted after conceding an early goal
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Ronald Koeman feels delighted Barcelona players after bouncing back from a goal down to beat Athletic Bilbao 3-2 in their second La Liga game of the New Year.
Inaki Williams put the hosts ahead just after three minutes into kick-off but a Lionel Messi’s brace and one other goal from Pedri propelled the Catalans to victory in the end.
Bilbao scored a late-minute goal but it was not enough to rescue them from losing the fixture to Barca who are now third on the table.
While speaking to the media after the game, the Dutch manager was proud of his players’ response despite conceding an early goal. Daily Mail quoting Koeman while speaking to the media says:
“That’s the way we need to continue. I felt like we controlled the game the whole time and there were barely any dips in our play.”
Barcelona are now seven points behind Atletico Madrid who are the log leaders with 38 points but have played lesser games than the Catalans. Koeman insisted that:
“The title race is still open because the season is very long. There can be injuries, teams can have downturns and a side that looks very good can end up struggling.”
Koeman will not end his remarks without hailing Lionel Messi who was almost everywhere and also scored twice in the game. The 33-year-old was unlucky not to grab a hat trick.
“Messi has given everything since day one, he has spent so many years at the very top level but it seems that now he has become even more effective. He has always shown us his skill and his commitment but today he gave us his goals too.”
The Dutchman also showers praises on Pedri, saying the youngster plays with so much experience.
“He plays with so much maturity despite his age and most importantly he uses his head.”
Despite starting the season on a very poor note, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is joint top scorers with the likes of Luis Suarez, Iago Aspas and Gerard Moreno on nine goals each.
Legit.ng earlier reported that two goals from Lionel Messi and one from Pedri were all Barcelona needed to come from a goal down and beat stubborn Athletic Bilbao at San Mames Barria on Wednesday, January 7.
The victory ensured Ronald Koeman’s men claim a second consecutive triumph in the New Year while they climb to the third position on the La Liga table.
Inaki Williams powered the home team ahead just three minutes into the game following an error from the Catalans defenders as Marc-Andre ter Stegen was made to concede an early goal.
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