La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez appeared to poke fun at Ronald Koeman after scoring his side’s second goal against Barcelona on Saturday evening. The Catalan giants fell to their second defeat in a week at the hands of Atletico, who went level on points with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with their latest victory.
Barcelona, still reeling from their recent one-sided loss to Benfica in the Champions League, went into the match at the Wanda Metropolitano as the clear underdogs.
Koeman’s side went on to live up to their pre-game billing with a lacklustre performance under the lights in the Spanish capital.
Thomas Lemar opened the scoring for the hosts with a stunning finish past Marc-Andre ter Stegen after just 23 minutes.
Barcelona’s night got even worse when Suarez doubled Atletico’s lead shortly before half-time, with the Uruguayan marksman scoring his first goal against his former club.
He celebrated by running to the corner and hugging his team-mates before making a phone gesture in the direction of Koeman.
JUST IN: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel sends Liverpool and Man City message
It has been suggested that Suarez chose to do so in reference to his Barcelona exit last summer.
The 34-year-old was forced out of the Nou Camp after he was deemed surplus to requirements by Koeman, who told him that he had no future at the club during a brief phone call.
Reports claimed that Suarez’s conversation with the Barcelona manager lasted just 60 seconds before the striker decided to join Atletico shortly afterwards.
He admitted at the time that he was left frustrated by the manner of his departure after scoring 195 goals for Barcelona over a six-year period.
“When Barcelona told me that they did not count on me it was hard, I did not expect it,” Suarez told El Transistor.
“They were very difficult moments because of the manner [in which it happened].
“Koeman called me and told me that I was not in his plans. When Barcelona made it official that they did not count on me, conversations began with Atleti.”
Suarez’s goal proved to be the last of Saturday’s match against Barcelona, who now sit ninth in La Liga after just three wins from their opening seven games.
Koeman was spotted burying his head in his hands as Suarez celebrated, with the Dutchman continuing to feel the pressure mounting on his shoulders.
FOLLOW OUR NEW DAILY EXPRESS SPORT INSTAGRAM PAGE
Barcelona chiefs are reportedly drawing up a list of alternatives as they decide whether to drop the axe in a desperate attempt to save their season.
However, club president Joan Laporta gave Koeman a public vote of confidence earlier this week, insisting that he is the right man to turn things around.
“He loves Barca and decided to come here in a really tough time, both institutionally and on a sporting front,” Laporta told reporters.
“After talking to him, I can see he’s got faith in the team. We spoke and it’s not true that we’ve got a tense relationship, it’s good and honest.
“I think we both think the same, to turn things around.”
Source: Read Full Article