FC Barcelona look highly likely to sack Ronald Koeman as first-team coach in the coming hours after his side suffered a painful 2-0 defeat away to Atletico Madrid here.
Koeman, who was suspended for the game on Saturday evening, included teenagers Nico Gonzalez and Gavi in his starting 11. Although the youngsters performed well, it was Barca’s more experienced players who were caught out as Thomas Lemar opened the scoring midway through the first half after good work from Joao Felix and Luis Suarez.
The former Barca striker doubled Atletico’s lead just before halftime after Lemar again exposed gaping holes in the Barcelona defence, allowing him to slide the ball past Marc Andre Ter Stegen.
Barca rarely looked like getting back on level terms, despite Ansu Fati being brought into the action midway through the second half, while Atletico always looked dangerous on the break in a game that will do little to change the opinion of most Barca fans that Koeman’s time is up.
Manu Sanchez’s diving header deep into injury time gave Osasuna a 1-0 win at home to Rayo Vallecano, ending the visitors’ five-game unbeaten run, Xinhua reports.
Iddrisu Baba’s 74th-minute winning strike got Mallorca back to winning ways with a 1-0 triumph at home over Levante, who remain without a win all season.
Meanwhile, Cadiz coach Alvaro Cervera left out seven first-team players who went partying after last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Rayo Vallecano and saw how his much-changed side held on for a 0-0 draw with Valencia at home.
The visitors had 68 percent of the ball and 16 shots against just two from Cadiz, but were unable to stop their winless run extending to four.
Friday night saw Raul Garcia’s 44th-minute header gave Athletic Club Bilbao a 1-0 win at home over Alaves on a night that saw Athletic Club striker Inaki Williams make a La Liga record 203rd consecutive league appearance.
Garcia had earlier seen a penalty saved, but was in the right place to nod home Inigo Lekue’s header on the stroke of halftime.