Ronald Koeman: On Pep Guardiola and Barça vs City

Toni Frieros

Everton drew with City on Saturday...

I can't deny we had a lot of luck, because it's not normal your opponent misses two penalties. The best team doesn't always win, or draw.

City's Achilles heel?

Technically they are very good, they dominate you, but defensively they haven't managed to get as strong. I suppose it's a question of time. It's shown with our goal, where they allowed Lukaku to get one on one.

Are you surprised Pep's City are leading the Premier League?

When you put great players with a great coach, it's normal. It's been a while since I played a side as good.

What did you feel when you faced Pep?

It was something pretty and endearing, becaue we are friends since the 90s and have shared many things. Barça brought us together and football has allowed us to get to this point.

Barça-City. What will happen?

It will be a grand spectacle, I'm sure of it. I already can't wait to see which team has more of the ball, though that doesn't mean they play better or deserve to win. There are other important things in football than just keeping the ball. 

Two identical styles?

Identical, no, but similar yes. Obviously it will be a battle to dominate th other side, because these teams don't know how to play differently. One will have to yield and that will be important for the balance. 

To know how to attack and defend.

Exactly. If you are obsessed with attacking and don't take precautions to defend collectively, you are mistaken. You have to control risk and have patience because sooner or later you'll find space. 

Pep's City will be brave?

Yes, I have no doubts. In fact, it wouldn't be odd if they had more of the ball than Barcelona. Luis Enrique's team is solid defensively. They know to take three steps back and then play comfortably on the counter-attack. Barça, in all ways, have something City don't. 

What do you mean?

I'm talking about Leo Messi. Your team can be doing great work, controlling the opponent, but if Messi's genius is unleashed, there's nothing you can do. And normally in the big games he appears. 

He's that unbalancing?

Not just the best player now, but the best player of all time. And by his side he has players like Neymar, Luis Suarez, Iniesta... it's hard to beat Barcelona when all these genius' play well together. Including for Manchester City. 

Go on...

If Barcelona want to beat City they will have to work hard, because City move a lot and well, they know how to occupy space and take you to the limit of your performance and concentration. So it won't be easy for Barça to beat City. 


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