Barcelona’s 2-0 win away to Juventus in their Champions League group was the perfect reply to the club’s boardroom crisis, coach Ronald Koeman said on Wednesday (October 28).
The club was rocked when club president Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned on Tuesday (October 27) to avoid facing a vote of no confidence after some 20,000 fans signed a petition demanding that he step down but Koeman said his team had tried to put the boardroom issue out of their minds.
“I work as Barcelona coach and we want to achieve the best results, work well and improve our game individually and as a team”, he told journalists during a news conference in Turin.
“I believe this is our job where we have to focus our energies and we have no power in matters outside of sport.”
Barcelona has won their two games in Champions League Group G, a sharp contrast to their La Liga form where they are without a win in their last three matches.
“I think we have played the most complete game to date”, Koeman added. “I think the team showed a lot of personality on the pitch and it’s true that we played our best game.”
Juventus’ defeat to Barcelona was another useful lesson for a team that is still under construction.
“It is a match that can help us to grow in the future,” coach Andrea Pirlo, who himself is in his first season as a coach, said.
Juventus, still missing Cristiano Ronaldo after he tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago, was frustrated as Alvaro Morata had two goals disallowed in the first half and a third after halftime when VAR showed that his heel was offside.
“We have to think about improving, a goal could be allowed or disallowed,” Pirlo said. “There is the VAR that controls so we respect what it says.”
Juve’s frustration was complete as defender Merih Demiral was sent off in the 85th minute and Messi settled the match with a stoppage-time penalty to leave Barcelona top of Group G with six points and Juventus on three.
(Production: Fabiano Franchitti)