Soccer-Barca didn't have players for tiki-taka game, Koeman says after Granada draw


Soccer Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Granada - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - September 20, 2021 FC Barcelona's Ronald Araujo clashes with Granada's Domingos Duarte REUTERS/Albert Gea

(Reuters) - Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman defended his team's style of play in Monday's 1-1 LaLiga draw with Granada, saying his depleted side did not have the players who could execute their trademark tiki-taka passing game.

Ronald Araujo's last-minute header rescued a point for Barcelona as they limped to their second draw in four games, which left them in seventh place on eight points, five behind leaders Real Madrid who have played a game more.

Koeman said his team, who were without a host of players due to injuries, could not play their short passing game because they failed to find space.

"We had to sacrifice our style of play a little bit to try and get the result, by putting crosses in rather than playing down the middle," Koeman told reporters. "If you look at the squad list for the game, it's the only thing we could do.

"We can't play tiki-taka if there aren't any spaces. So that means we have to try and find another way to play. For me that's what has to be talked about, the fact that we tried everything to get a point.

"We know it's maybe not Barcelona's football, but this Barcelona is not that of eight years ago."

The Dutch manager has come under scrutiny in the wake of the team's mediocre results, leading to speculation over his future at the Catalan club.

"I'm not going to talk about my future anymore," the 58-year-old added.

"We're unhappy because we want to win games, especially at home, but as I explained, the game was complicated and I think we gave our all on the pitch."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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