As a result of the absences and rotations, Barcelona faced Dynamo Kiev with an improvised 11 that ended up doing the job. ‘Sport’ says that Carles Alena and Oscar Mingueza surprised a Ronald Koeman who is determined to continue playing with them.
Circumstances forced Ronald Koeman to look for a weakened XI in Kiev, but the team still beat Kiev and pleased the Dutch manager.
Without Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto, injured in the Wanda Metropolitano and with the absence of Sergio Busquets, Koeman did the job playing Sergino Dest. Oscar Mingueza was in central defense and Alena and Pjanic were also on the team.
Carlos Alena and Mingueza had barely played this season. The first had played a few minutes against Kiev at the Camp Nou, but the second did make his debut with the first team. Both ended up persuading the Barça coach.
‘Sport’ assures this Friday that Ronald Koeman congratulated them not only in public, but also internally. He also thanked players like Riqui Puig and Matheus Fernandes who only played a few minutes, but had a brilliant attitude.
Koeman appreciated the work his youngsters did and is determined to give them more continuity in the next games. Not only because of the players outside, but also because he believes that they are capable of contributing things to his team.
The same goes for Braithwaite. The Dane notched a double in his first start this season. Without Ansu Fati and with Pedro playing more in a midfield role, Braithwaite could start to be played more by Koeman.