Ronald Koeman has cast doubt over Barcelona’s ability to challenge for the title this season whilst Philippe Coutinho looks set for a spell on the sidelines.
Barcelona fail to win
Barcelona’s final game of 2020 saw them play host to Eibar on Tuesday evening.
Barca headed into the tie in ok form, though their early-season dip still left them well off the pace of the top-four in La Liga.
As a result, a win against a struggling Eibar side seemed imperative.
However, a floundering Barcelona were unable to leave the Camp Nou with all three points.
Former Middlesbrough man Kike fired the visitors into the lead after 57 minutes.
Ousmane Dembele then drew the home team level 10 minutes later. However, a Lionel Messi-less Barca were unable to add a second and were forced to settle for a share of the points.
Koeman plays down title talk & Coutinho update
Said results leaves the Blaugrana down in 6th spot, one point adrift of a Champions League place.
More concerningly, though, it leaves Barca seven points behind table-topping Atletico Madrid, who also have two games in hand on Barcelona.
Now, following the Eibar draw, Ronaldo Koeman has already moved to play down his side’s chances of actually winning La Liga this season:
“I am realistic, it will be very difficult to be champions.
“Nothing is impossible, but you have to acknowledge the gap. Atletico look very good to me, very strong, they don’t concede many goals.”
To compound Barcelona’s misery, they could also be set to be without one of their key men for some time.
Philippe Coutinho came on as a sub vs Eibar and looks to have picked up a potentially serious injury in the process.
Word from Spain on Monday speculated that the Brazilian could have affected the external meniscus of the left knee.
If there is a full tear in his meniscus, it was added that Coutinho may indeed have needed to undergo surgery, which could then see him sidelined for four months:
⚠️ Coutinho podría tener el menisco externo de la rodilla izquierda afectado
😓 En peor de los casos pasaría por el quirófano y estaría cuatro meses de bajahttps://t.co/pLRJlMOCf9
— Diario SPORT (@sport) December 30, 2020
FC Barcelona would then indeed confirm that Coutinho has damaged his meniscus in his left knee and will need to go under the knife.
No time frame is given for the attacker’s recovery by Barca, but as already mentioned by Sport, it does look to be a few months:
[INJURY UPDATE]@Phil_Coutinho has an injury to the lateral meniscus in his left knee
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 30, 2020
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