BARCELONA

Ronald Koeman eyeing Copa del Rey glory at Barça

Ronald Koeman reflected on Barcelona's come-from-behind win against Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

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Barca eyeing Copa del Rey glory as Koeman's men chase down Atletico in LaLiga

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman said his team are trying to win the Copa del Rey as they attempt to overhaul LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.

Barça came from behind to beat second-tier side Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in Wednesday's last-16 showdown in the Copa del Rey.

Fran Garcia gave Rayo a 63rd-minute lead before Lionel Messi equalised six minutes later and Frenkie de Jong completed Barça's comeback 10 minutes from time midweek.

Messi's future up in the air

It has been a challenging season for Barça amid doubts over Messi's future, the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a struggle for form as the Spanish giants sit third and 10 points behind Atlético, while they also lost the Spanish Super Cup final.

But Koeman and Barça remain focused on the goal of silverware, with the Catalan club set to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16.

"I am very happy," Koeman said post-match after reaching the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. "From the beginning we played a good game. In the first part we forgave them on several occasions, in the last pass, there were plays in which there could be penalties.

"Yes, we had problems in the first half. In the second one, especially with the score against, I think we've showed our personality, scoring quality goals, we came back in the game. At the end you always suffer with such a tight result with just one goal difference. Overall, the team played very well.

"We know these are complicated games, it does not matter the category of the opponent. They played a great game, they complicated us. But, in the first half we forgave them, we should've scored one or two goals."

Koeman aiming to cut league gap

"Our goal is to go game by game, try to win every game in order to try to move up in the table," Koeman added. "Cut the gap we have now [in the league], play in the Champions League.

"We want to win the Copa [del Rey]. I think this is the mentality our team has shown in all competitions and try to get the most out of it. It is important, we are Barça, but there are no easy games.

"We know how the Copa games are, it doesn't depend on the category of your opponent. You have to work a lot and play well. The pitch was not very good to play our game. Despite the state of the pitch, we played a very good game. Also, the team had the right mentality to overcome this play-off."