ATLÉTICO 1-0 BARCELONA

Koeman horrified by worrying defending as Barcelona confirm Pique knee sprain

Atlético Madrid beat Barcelona 1-0 on Saturday night, leaving Ronald Koeman not too happy by his team's defending of Yannick Carrasco's decisive goal.

Koeman aghast at 'worrying' defending as Barca confirm Pique 'sprain'

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman expressed concern at how his team defended in the move that led to Atlético Madrid's winning goal in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Barça travelled to Madrid having won only one of their previous five LaLiga matches, a run of results that already had them playing catch-up in the table. Defeat – their third in a little over a month – means they could end the weekend in the bottom half of the table, with the Blaugrana seemingly struggling to recover from a tumultuous pre-season off the pitch. 

Carrasco winner

The solitary goal conceded against Atlético came at the end of the first half when Gerard Piqué – who was later substituted with a nasty-looking knee injury – failed to cut out Ángel Correa's pass, and Yannick Carrasco skipped past the stranded Marc-Andre ter Stegen before slotting into an empty net from 35 yards.

"It is worrying," Koeman told Movistar afterwards. "For a big team, conceding a goal like this ... it can't be, because it's the 47th minute, we had the ball and then they score, 1-0. We controlled and we knew that it was difficult to create many chances. We had a pair and with the score 0-0, the game would have been totally different [if they had taken either chance]. Like any coach, I am responsible for the team's results."

Although the campaign is still in its early stages, Atlético's win saw them go nine points clear of Barcelona. Koeman recognised it as a significant gap to bridge and is demanding a streak of wins from his men in response.

"It's a pretty big difference, but there is a lot of the league left and a lot of games," he continued. "We know that every match is complicated, but after this defeat we have to chain an important winning streak. I have seen a team that has fought until the last second to been able to level the game, so in this sense I am not worried."

Barça confirmed after the match that Piqué "had sustained a knee sprain" though further tests are required to determine the extent of the injury.