Koeman rues 'big opportunity lost' as Barcelona miss chance to close gap

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The Catalans failed to make up much ground in the title race after Lionel Messi's penalty was cancelled out late on at Camp Nou

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has lamented his side’s 1-1 draw with Cadiz on Sunday, saying he is more disappointed than he was after the midweek defeat to Paris Saint-Germain after his side missed the chance to close the gap on league leaders Atletico Madrid.

The Blaugrana were downed 4-1 on Tuesday against the Ligue 1 champions, effectively ending their Champions League hopes at the last-16 stage, albeit with the second leg to come next month.

It seemed that they were on course to seal a return to winning ways however in La Liga, after a first-half penalty from Lionel Messi, only for Alex Fernandez to seal a point with an 89th-minute spot-kick of his own for the visitors at Camp Nou.

In the wake of Atletico's earlier loss to Levante this weekend, such dropped points made for a major missed opportunity and Barca boss Koeman admitted he was left frustrated by the result.

Koeman on Cadiz draw

“It's disappointing," the Dutchman told his post-match press briefing. "These kind of games have to be won and we didn't do it.

“It's a big opportunity lost after the Atletico Madrid defeat. It's a big disappointment. I'm very disappointed, more so than last Tuesday. We couldn't let the two points slip away. We are disappointed.

“I don't like to blame the players individually. We weren't up to the task in attack, and we have to defend differently. In terms of quality, we should have won.

"The problem is that the scoreline was very close and they could equalise at any moment, as happened.

“You leave them the chance to equalise in the last few minutes. If you don't kill the game and you don't score the second, they can always score.

“We struggled to create chances because they were deep and there was no space. We lacked freshness up front. We have to analyse what happened in the penalty [Cadiz won late on], the whole play, to see how it happened.”

Barcelona in La Liga

Barcelona are now third in La Liga and trail Atletico Madrid by eight points. Furthermore, they are five behind Real Madrid, although the capital side have played a game more.

Koeman's side could yet find themselves fourth by the end of the matchday too, with Sevilla poised to overtake them if they defeat Osasuna on Monday.

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