Koeman: Luckily Messi is still with Barcelona

Ronald Koeman was lost for words trying to describe another brilliant Lionel Messi performance on Monday evening, and he’s grateful to still have the Argentine at the Camp Nou.

Messi scored the first and last goals of Barcelona’s 4-1 win over Huesca, with each strike being a beautifully curled effort from range.

“I think Messi has shown that he’s the best,” Koeman said. “The first goal was fantastic. He deserves to be important for this team.

“No more can be said [about him]. The level he’s been at for so many years, for so many games. He’s the most important man in the club’s history.

Luckily he’s still with us.”

Three of Barcelona’s goals on the night came from long range, with Antoine Griezmann also firing in from distance.

“It’s important [to score from outside the area],” Koeman said. “For teams that defend with so many players in the box, it’s important to finish off the moves.

“You have to shoot. In general, we were good tonight. We’ve been trying these shots in training.”

Koeman still believes in the Catalans’ title chances, despite them having looked adrift earlier in the season.

“I’ve always said there was a lot to play for,” Koeman said. “It’s always hard for any team to hold out.

“After all the points we dropped, I think we’ve reacted well.

“The team are in good shape and we’re fighting. We can’t lose any more points because we’ve already dropped quite a few.”

Huesca were gifted a lifeline in the first half as they were handed a bizarre penalty when Rafa Mir went down in the box. Rafa Mir himself converted to make it 2-1 at the break.

“It’s crazy that it was a penalty,” Koeman said. “[Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen doesn’t touch the striker.

“The referee can give it, but VAR has to see that. It’s as clear as day. I don’t know what has to be changed.”

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