Barça players rally around Dest to help him "forget" Paris Saint-Germain

STORY

Dest produced an improved performance against Cadiz to turn the page on Mbappe

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Sergi Capdevila

It would be completely unfair to blame the painful defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on one Barcelona player. The team as a whole was poor. And especially so to blame a kid that's just turned 20 and only just signed for the club. But the fact that Sergiño Dest was tasked, in part, with dealing with Kylian Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick, has left him in the spotlight.

What's true is that the American was second best to the French striker, who put on an exhibition and rolled Barça over. With the score at 1-3, Ronald Koeman decided to take Dest off and bring on Oscar Mingueza. The right-back left the pitch with his head down after his worst night for the club since his move from Ajax.

DEST & KOEMAN

Ronald Koeman, asked about it in a press conference, asked for patience and, above all, calm with a player that a lot of faith has been deposited in. "Maybe the fact he hadn't played recent matches (through injury) had an influence. He's fine physically, he's (20) years old and has to learn that he must be more aggressive and more concentrated. He has too many periods of play during a game where he's not focused. But he's young and that's good because he can learn. It's a big challenge to play for Barça, he needs time and in the end, it depends on him."

Dest started against Cadiz on Sunday at Camp Nou. He was active in attack from the off on the right flnak with Ousmane Dembele. Koeman maintained confidence in him and he showed his character. You could also appreciate how his teammates continually encouraged him, especially Marc ter Stegen (it's incredible how he spends games, speaking constantly and correcting mistakes in defence) and Gerard Pique. Encouragement, constructive phrases... in short, giving him the 'love' he needed to overcome some tough days.

The USMNT defender played really well despite the result. He was on for 80 minutes and wasn't beaten at the back once, completed 88 percent of his passes and got into the area repeatedly to help in the attack against a team that was sitting deep.

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