Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman admitted that Paris Saint-Germain proved they are superior to his side as they claimed a 4-1 win in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
After Lionel Messi gave the home side the lead with a penalty in the first half, PSG fired back and secured a comfortable win through a hat-trick from Kylian Mbappe and a strike from Moise Kean.
The result puts Mauricio Pochettino’s side in control before they host the Spanish giants in the second leg, and Koeman said his side’s opponents deserved their win on the night.
What has been said?
“Surely the result reflects how superior they were. They were effective. In the first half it was more even. In the second half we had problems defensively. They proved physically to be very superior to us,” Koeman said.
“When you go ahead and they equalise quickly it’s always a problem. We didn’t defend that attack well. We weren’t paying attention to the ball on the wing or the centre.
“Particularly in the second half we have to admit that they were superior. They have shown that they have a more complete team than us. We have to accept it, improve things.
“We knew that this could happen because we are playing against a great team, a physical team with experience, for many reasons that is ahead of us.
“A 4-1 loss is normally very difficult. I could tell you lies but the fact is that at 4-1 down from the home leg, there are very few chances of going through. This match shows us how much we have to improve, particularly at Champions League level.
“The game has shown us that we lack things to be at the best level, especially at the Champions League level.”
What next for Barcelona?
The Catalan giants are currently third in La Liga and will look to extend their seven-game winning run in the competition when they host Cadiz on Sunday, followed by another home game against Elche.
Koeman’s team will then look to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the Copa del Rey when they face Sevilla in the second leg of their semi-final tie on March 3.