Koeman hails ‘hungry’ Barcelona after reaching knockout round
LONDON: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said that the side hungry for goals after the five-time winners reached the last-16 stage of the UEFA Champions League 2020-21 with a 4-0 win over Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday. Martin Braithwaite grabbed a double in the victory while Juventus, Chelsea and Sevilla all claimed last-gasp wins as they qualified for the knockout phase. They are the first teams to make it out of the group stage, doing so with two games to spare, on a night which saw Erling Braut Haaland, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes all get among the goals. There was no Lionel Messi for Barcelona, with the Argentine rested for the trip to Ukraine, but Ronald Koeman’s side got the job done to make it four wins from four in Group G. All the goals came in the second half, with Sergino Dest opening the scoring before Danish striker Braithwaite added another and then converted a penalty to make it 3-0. On as a substitute, Antoine Griezmann wrapped up the win on the night young centre-back Oscar Mingueza, Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes and teenage American winger Konrad de la Fuente were all blooded in the first team. “We’ve achieved our objective,” said Koeman. “We looked hungry and scored four goals. Important players were able to rest and the youngsters deserved their minutes.” - AFP