Barcelona were defeated by Benfica in the Champions League, putting Koeman under increasing strain.
Barcelona’s fortunes took another step in the wrong direction on Wednesday, as Benfica defeated the ailing Catalan team 3-0 in Champions League group stage play.
It was Ronald Koeman’s side’s second consecutive defeat in the tournament by a three-goal margin, after a 3-0 setback to Bayern Munich two weeks ago.
It adds to the pressure on Koeman, who has been heavily criticised and may be fired as a result of a similarly poor start to the LaLiga season.
“It’s a difficult outcome to accept, and it doesn’t reflect what we witnessed on the field,” Koeman said.
“We were excellent until it became 2-0, even though we conceded early. We had a lot of scoring opportunities but failed to take advantage of them. That is how you alter the game.
“The major difference between the teams is whether they score the three opportunities they generate and we don’t.” Koeman maintained that the players were behind him in their efforts to improve their record, but he stated he didn’t know whether the board shared his sentiments.
“I’m not going to fight with my team’s ability. It’s pointless to compare this team to previous Barcelona squads. That is very obvious, “said the Dutchman.
“I can only speak for myself about my job at the club; I am confident in my players and their attitude. I’m not sure about the rest, the club… I can’t say much more since I don’t sure how the club feels about it. It isn’t in my control.”
Barca captain Sergio Busquets also said that the players on the field share some of the responsibility.
“At the end of the day, getting rid of the coach is the easy part, but we are all accountable. We are, in fact, in a grave position “Busquets said.
“We’ve just played two games in the group stage so far. We must concentrate on improving.
“We must win our next two games against Dynamo Kiev before assessing the other two. There is still a long way to go, and we must remain optimistic.”
Darwin Nunez of Uruguay scored two goals for Benfica on the night, leading the Portuguese powerhouse to victory on an electrifying night in Lisbon. Nunez scored his first goal only three minutes into the game, racing past Barca’s backline and cutting in from the left for a near-post finish.
As Barcelona tried to claw their way back into the game, Lucas Verissimo of Benfica made a last-ditch stop to deny Luuk de Jong from close range, but they were always second best.
After the half, Jorge Jesus’ team kept up the pressure, with Rafa Silva increasing Benfica’s lead in the 69th minute after pounced on Joao Mario’s first attempt.
Nunez watched a shot clip of the wordwork after beating Marc-Andre ter Stegen to a through ball, continuing Benfica’s assault.
After Sergino Dest was penalised for a handball inside the area, Nunez scored a penalty in the 79th minute.
After Eric Garcia received his second yellow card of the night, Barcelona completed the game with ten men.
Barcelona is bottom of Group E, with 0 points after two games, six points below Bayern Munich, and four behind Benfica. Dynamo Kiev is one point behind Dynamo Kiev in third place.