The consequences of Saturday's game at the Wanda Metropolitano set off alarms at FC Barcelona. Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets got injured and, along with Sergio Busquets' absence, obliged Ronald Koeman to try other footballers that until now have not played much.
Even though Koeman has a deep squad -- only one place left in the 25-man squad -- the Dutch coach has bet on a specific group of players so far. However, those that hadn't featured delivered in Kiev in midweek. The youngsters did well, as did players like Martin Braithwaite, as Barça won 4-0 in the Champions League to book their place in the last 16.
Step forward There was a debut in defence for Oscar Mingueza. He was at a high level. So high, in fact, that he could now keep his place on Sunday against Osasuna.
Another player that took on responsibility was Carles Aleña in the double pivote. Prior to Tuesday, he'd played just seven minutes in official games this season. But he performed in Ukraine and, above all, showed a great attitude.
Those two dispelled any doubts, but Koeman also gave minutes to other players, like Riqui Puig and Matheus Fernandes in midfield. They both showed their hunger to play more.
InternalcongratulationsKoeman praised his players to the media but also behind closed doors. The coach spoke in front of the group and congratulated the youngsters for their response against Kiev.
Koeman's words were not hollow, either. He has the intention to give more minutes to those that impressed at the Olimpico.
The first chance will be on Sunday, against Osasuna, a game Barça must win to get their title bid back on track. As well as Mingueza, other youngsters could play in the coming weeks. In that sense, Trincao is another players the coaching staff continue to back, even though he was erratic against Dynamo. Koeman likes players that don't stop trying and leave everything on the pitch. That's the case with the Portuguese forward.
PedriPedri is a different case given he is now consolidated in the first team. His good display in Kiev was another for the collection in his first season at Barça. Sergiño Dest on the right is another player showing that he has the ability to play every week, regardless of who is and isn't fit. Koeman knew that, though, and that's why he demanded his signing.
The coach wants to see a similar performance on Sunday at Camp Nou, with the veterans back in the side. A team that bites and is dynamic. That's the premise to win the big trophies.