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Koeman: "Messi and Pedri? Good players always understand each other"

The Barcelona coach was pleased that his three-man defence system worked but refused to say whether he will stick with it for the next few games.


Ronald Koeman admitted that filling the midfield was one of the keys in gaining control of the ball in Tuesday's win over Valladolid - mainly in combatting the 4-4-2 system which the hosts used.

It seems that changing the system to play with three centre-backs gave the team more solidity...

Having more people in midfield gave us more security at the back. We saw a very focused team which created a lot of chances, but I don't know whether I will continue to use this system or not.

Pedri looked impressive, what did you make of his performance?

He's a very good player, who connects really well with Leo; they've been working together a lot - without the ball too, which is important for us. He looks very comfortable in his game. I also have to congratulate the other players for their performance tonight. Does he have a good understanding with  Messi? Good players always understand each other.

Messi looks much happier...

That's a question you have to put to Leo. He seems happy to me, he's working hard and he plays an important role in the team's attack. You really notice it when he has a lot of players around him.

Pjanic has finally played a full game

He played well, he had to wait for his opportunity to play a full game. He did well and controlled the defence well.

That Griezmann, Coutinho and Busquets didn't start, what does that tell you?

That we have a lot of competition and a very strong squad.

Are you going away from Valladolid happy with the result/performance?

Very happy for the job done throughout the game, although at the end we made a few mistakes with the ball.


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