BARCELONA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said his side were suffering from fatigue in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home to Sevilla in La Liga after an eventful first week of competitive action.
The Catalans were playing their third match in a week and were still feeling the effects of their 3-0 win at Celta Vigo on Thursday, when they had to play the entire second half with 10 men after Clement Lenglet’s red card.
“It’s been a very intense week for us and this was yet another exhausting game,” Koeman told reporters.
“We ran ourselves into the ground in Vigo with one player less and today we were lacking freshness, spark and presence in attack.”
Sevilla went ahead early through a strike from Luuk de Jong but Barca quickly levelled thanks to a goal from Philippe Coutinho.
Koeman paid tribute to Julen Lopetegui’s side and admitted they were fitter and sharper than his team.
“They played superbly, they pressed well and were physically stronger than us. They are an outstanding team,” he said.
“It was a very difficult game, they pressed us hard and we weren’t able to move the ball around as we wanted. I think we played well but we lost a lot of balls in the second half and when you do that you cannot dictate the rhythm of the game.”
Barca’s players now head off for international duty only a week after starting the season and Koeman said he was satisfied with what he had seen since the competition began.
“We can be happy with how we’ve done, we gave a positive display but we need more time to work together,” he added.
“We have had three tough games, we’ve won two and drawn one so I’m happy. Our opponents have been tough but we can be pleased to have seven points.” (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)
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