Kounde on Barça not killing games off and Munian handball call

Kounde on Barça not killing games off and Munian handball call

| sport

The French defender spoke to DAZN after the 1-0 win at San Mames

Barcelona defender Jules Kounde says the team are struggling more than usual to kill games off but praised their defensive record.

Barça kept a 19th clean sheet in 25 league games this season as they beat Athletic Club 1-0 at San Mames on Sunday to maintain their nine-point lead at the top of LaLiga.

However, Barça had to hold on at the end after missing chances to double their lead and were thankful when a late Iñaki Williams goal was ruled out by VAr.

"We suffered more than we wanted for sure," Kounde told DAZN. "It's true that recently it's been difficult and we have not been able to kill off games and get the second goal.

"It's true we suffered. We knew it would be difficult because it is always hard to play at San Mames. They play with a lot of intensity and have quick players.  

"I think (defending is) key. A season is very long. Recently we have not been as good with the ball, but everyone does their job, defensively. I think we stop everything for the team, which is key over a season. It's important to know how to win when not playing well."  

Kounde switched from centre-back to right-back late on when Marcos Alonso came on for Sergi Roberto, which seemed to give Athletic more impetus in attack.

"It's not the first time we have done that," he added. "There are games when I have started at centre-back and ended up at right-back. It is true that sometimes it can go better or worse.

"It is hard to come into games when there is so much intensity, box to box (...) I think it happens. The important thing is that everyone is pulling in the same direction."

On the Williams no goal call, Kounde agreed with the handball decision given against Iker Muniain in the build up.  

"First of all, I was really disappointed to concede that goal, but I think it's the right decision," he said. "I saw it on the TV and for me it's handball. Maybe it will generate controversy but for me, it's the correct call."  

Topics with the letter