The Barcelona boss commented on the Argentina international’s red card in the loss against Athletic Club on Sunday.
shed some light on
’s frustration following his dismissal in the defeated Spanish Super Cup final clash againstAthletic Club
For the first time in his club career, the Barcelona legend received a red card. Following Athletic forward Inaki Williams’ goal in extra time, in an off-the-ball happening, Messi hit out at Asier Villalibre which was reviewed through the VAR, forcing the officials to send him off.
Messi has been linked with a move toManchester City
and is now dealing with a suspension. However, the Barca coach defended the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
I can understand what Messi did,
" Koeman said. "
I don't know how many times they fouled him, and it's normal to react when they keep trying to foul you as a player who is looking to dribble with the ball, but I need to see it again properly."
Messi has committed eight fouls against Athletic in his 753rd appearance for his side, recovering an injury beforehand.
Leo, after so many years in the elite of football, knows perfectly if he is in condition or not
," Koeman said. "
We spoke before, he said he was in condition to play the game, he has given his maximum and nothing else."
met the back of the net twice for his side, scoring the opener 40 minutes into the game. However, both his goals were ruled out. Oscar de Marcos pulled them level and Griezmann helped Barca take the lead back with 13 minutes left.
Barca are sitting third on the La Liga table, falling seven points behind the current titleholdersAtletico Madrid
We are sad, disappointed by the result,
" Koeman added. "
We played the final to win and not to lose that, yes, but there is no time to get off. We'll be playing soon, there's a cup and a league, there's no time for regrets.
We have done positive things, we have improved. We have failed in the goals received. We have to be more forceful in defence. We must defend better in the area and not let the opponents think, they cannot control, turn and shoot easily. We can improve.
"My work, I give the maximum I can. My work is not very good if we had won, nor very bad for losing. We are on the way, there are positive things, although losing today is very hard."