The setback against Granada left the Barcelona players in shock. The disappointment was enormous. The anger of coach Ronald Koeman was triple, by the result, by the mistakes made by his team and by an expulsion, his, which he claimed not to understand. “We have had opportunities to score the second goal and we have not done it. I think there has been a lack of concentration ”. The Dutch coach explained: “Seeing the two goals, we have left spaces when they had to be closed and when the ball had to be cleared. In those two or three plays we have not been good defensively ”.
As he did on April 23 in the game against Getafe, he relieved Mingueza, again signaled by another failure to clear the ball on the play that enabled Machís to tie one. De Jong agreed with the coach’s criteria: “With 1-1 we lost our position and Granada, in a long play, ended up scoring us.”
Koeman acknowledged: “It is a very hard blow, we are disappointed. We have to analyze the failures and learn and try to win the five games that we have left to try to be champions. We have to accept defeat and think about what we have done wrong to improve. It will be difficult for all teams. Sunday’s game will be crucial for the end of the season ”.
In principle, the sanction for his expulsion will not allow him to direct that meeting in the field of Valencia. “I don’t understand the red card,” Koeman explained. “According to the minutes, I have disrespected the fourth official and it has not been the case. Disrespect is insulting. We have commented on several plays in a respectful way. I want you to tell me what words I have used. I have not used bad words once. He has disrespected me. It affects me. That’s not fair. If I had said ugly words I would have to assume it, but I have not done it ”. According to the minutes of the match, he said “what a character” to the fourth official.
Jordi Alba defined the unexpected setback: “It’s a very hard stick. It’s a fucked up day, but there is no choice but to get up. They have arrived practically twice and they have scored two goals for us. We have not been entirely fine. We have tried to the end, but there are times that we have to sentence before. It was a unique opportunity. There are five games left and we have to try to win them, although we know that we are no longer dependent on ourselves ”.
Guillermo Amor, the director of institutional relations for the Barça club, acknowledged: “Everyone thought we were going to win, to put ourselves first and depend on ourselves. It is true that in that case, beating Atlético, everything was decided. Now, we are not dependent on ourselves. Madrid is in the fight. We are disappointed. We have to improve and keep learning. And to think that this is not lost. There is a League and we are going to fight until the end ”.
The victory at the Camp Nou was historic for Granada. He had missed the previous 25 times he had visited. “It is an epic, historic day, the first time it has been won here, we surpassed our best historical score in the League for the second consecutive season and we made sure to continue in the First Division, thanks to the players,” celebrated the team’s coach, Diego Martínez.
“You had to be strong defensively, be supportive, that they were not comfortable. We resisted 1-0 and we were effective. Our ambition is always to want to win the games. You have to do many things well and especially many that you do not like to do, for being without the ball for so long, “he added.
One of the heroes of the meeting was Jorge Molina. The Alicante striker, who turned 39 on April 22, relieved Soldado in the 61st minute and scored the goal for Granada’s victory 18 minutes later. “We have achieved something very big,” he defined. “We were going with a lot of casualties. It is the trend of the entire season and in the end the team always competes. Being able to come back with Barça by playing the League has enormous merit. The key is to be a team, to be all prepared when we have to play and to give 100% is the only secret. At halftime (Diego Martínez), he told us that we could win. Now we want to continue as before, game by game, and finish in the best possible way. Matches like these give you a lot of confidence ”.