Ronald Koeman: La Liga title within grasp
Coach Ronald Koeman said Barcelona have what it takes to win their nine remaining games and sweep to the La Liga title after snatching a last-gasp 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Monday.
The Catalans were far from their best but a volley from Ousmane Dembele in stoppage time meant they grabbed a sixth straight league win and closed the gap with Atletico Madrid to one point with nine games remaining.
“The team is capable of winning the games we have left but today was also a reminder you always have to be at your very best and you have to be clinical,” Koeman told reporters.
“We weren’t feeling fresh today, maybe because of the international break, but if we get back to how we were before then we’re capable of winning all our games.”
Barca were given an early let off when visiting forward Kenan Kodro headed against the crossbar while they survived a VAR review on a handball by Jordi Alba in the second half.
Another key decision went their way when Valladolid’s Oscar Plano was sent off with 11 minutes remaining.
“We didn’t make a great start to the game but we improved in the second half, we changed the system and made some substitutes and were a lot better,” Koeman added.
Cadiz defender Juan Cala denied racially abusing Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby during Sunday’s 2-1 win in La Liga, saying he had been caught up in “a media circus” and “a public lynching”.