Barcelona’s 1-1 draw at Alaves on Saturday condemned them to their worst start in La Liga since the 2002-03 season and coach Ronald Koeman admits he’s worried about recent results.
Barca are without a win in four league games, drawing two and losing two, and have registered just eight points from their opening six matches. The last time they had such a low points total at this stage of the campaign was under Louis van Gaal 18 years ago.
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The Blaugrana are already eight points behind early leaders Real Madrid, although they do have a game in hand.
“I am worried by that,” Koeman said in a news conference when asked about his side’s winless run. “It’s not normal for a team like Barca to pick up just two points from the last 12 [available].
“But as I have said, we’re changing a lot of things. I can’t complain about the attitude of the team. I can be disappointed with the performances, but the season is very long.”
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Luis Rioja opened the scoring for Alaves at Mendizorroza after a mix up between Gerard Pique and Neto before Antoine Griezmann levelled after the break with his first goal of the season.
Barca threw everything forward late on but were unable to find a winner despite playing with an extra man for the final 30 minutes after Jota’s red card.
Ansu Fati, Lionel Messi, Sergino Dest and Miralem Pjanic were all denied by Fernando Pacheco — who made eight saves in total — and Koeman called for his players to be more clinical.
“I am very disappointed with the result and once again we haven’t done enough in attack to win the game,” the Dutch coach added. “That was the problem against Juventus in midweek and it cost us two points today.
“It’s not an attitude or concentration problem, it’s about taking our chances. It’s not acceptable for a team like Barca to create so many chances to only score one goal — but I would be more worried if we weren’t creating.”
The draw leaves Barcelona in the bottom half of the table but Koeman could take heart from an improved second-half display in the Basque Country, which came after he’d made three substitutes at half time.
“I made the changes because I wasn’t happy with the first half and because some players were carrying a booking,” he said. “I was criticised the other day for making my subs late but today I made them at the break and we were much better. We created a lot of chances.”
Barca are back in action on Wednesday in the Champions League when they play Dynamo Kiev at Camp Nou and then host Real Betis next weekend in search of their first La Liga win since they beat Celta Vigo on Oct. 1.