Koeman: Maybe now it can be understood why Barcelona sometimes play with three centre backs

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Ronald Koeman was left rueing defensive errors after Saturday night's 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano and perhaps wondering if he should have gone with a back three.

The Barcelona head coach watched from the stands as his team was taken apart by a ruthless Atletico Madrid who were able to capitalise on their weaknesses.

"We can't leave that much space in behind when we lose the ball. We talked about exactly that before the game," said Koeman after the match.

"If we play with four defenders and two centre backs marking, you have to stay with your man in midfield. Nico [Gonzalez] stayed with his.

"Maybe now you understand why we've sometimes played with three centre backs."

It was, somewhat surprisingly, Barcelona's first LaLiga Santander loss of the season, but if you group this defeat with the ones in the Champions League against Benfica and Bayern Munich, the Blaugrana have been comfortably beaten in all their big games this season and have failed to score in any of them.

That, coupled with three draws from seven in the league, has naturally led to Koeman's position being questioned, but before the Atleti game, the word was that he still had Joan Laporta's backing, something he appreciates and is confident he still has.

"[Speaking with Laporta] was good because there wasn't clarity in that respect. We spoke last night and this morning about the team, the club, my position," said Koeman.

"I asked for clarity from the club. It's important that everyone knows what's what but I know that this is Barcelona and you have to win games, that's normal.

"The president has spoken to his peple and taken the decision [to back me] so that's perfect."

While recognising that his team wasn't good enough at the Wanda Metropolitano, Koeman also felt they deserved more from the game.

"We deserved more but, as is almost always the way, matches are decided by moments and we didn't take our chances," said Koeman.

"For the goals, we left a lot of space and for the first we didn't mark [Thomas] Lemar.

"From midfield, you have to follow your man. That's not acceptable."

Koeman remains optimistic, however, that things will improve and he is looking forward to recovering some of the players currently on the sidelines. He also pointed to the upcoming international break as a blessing which buys them some time to get players healthier again.

"When we get the injured players back, we'll improve," said Koeman.

"They are different to what we have.

"You have to hopen the pitch up, against Atletico that's important because it's not easy to create chances and if you have two or three, you need to score."

One such chance fell to Philippe Coutinho, who had a relatively bright game until he was subbed off but his frustration at missing a key chance was clear.

"Yes, [Coutinho's chance] could have changed the game," admitted Koeman.

"It could've made them nervous and given us confidence."

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