Ronald Koeman makes clear damning home truths after Barcelona’s thrashing by PSG

In the end, there wasn’t much Ronald Koeman could say that hadn’t been made crystal clear by Barcelona's display.

After seeing his side destroyed at Camp Nou by a Kylian Mbappe tour de force, their Champions League dream is surely over for another year. Probably much, much longer.

Following last season’s 8-2 quarter-final humbling by Bayern Munich and 2019’s 4-0 Anfield collapse against Liverpool, this was another dire display as the Blaugrana were easily dissembled by Paris Saint-Germain.

Not since the arrival of Lionel Messi on the world stage have Barcelona looked a more sorry sight than they did against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

In what could well be Messi’s final European match on home soil as a Barcelona player, they chased shadows for much of the match against a sharper, stronger, shrewder opponent.

The realisation grows that, amid their financial issues and with no president yet in place, Messi cannot save this team. Not in Europe, perhaps not in La Liga where they are off the pace being set by Atletico Madrid. Certainly, nor can Koeman.

Asked about whether the defeat was a “reality check” post-game, Koeman admitted: "They were better, they were very effective. Especially [Kylian] Mbappe.

"I could lie but at 4-1 there's hardly any chance of going through.

"They're a side that has already been put together and we are in transition. We must improve in the areas where we're lacking. That's my responsibility.

"The first half was very close and Ousmane [Dembele] had a clear chance at 1-0, but we had defensive problems in the second half.

"Yes [it was a reality check], in the second half. We have to admit that they were better. They have a more complete team than we do.

"We have to accept it and move on. We know that these things can happen. Their team are ahead of ours."

It is the kind of defeatist talk you often don’t hear from a Barcelona head coach.

But at least it is not denial.

Koeman insists expectations need altering in Catalunya – despite himself saying pre-game that Barca are a match for anyone – and that time is required.

"You always have to aspire to win everything, but we have to recognise that we're short in certain areas," the Barca boss added.

"I have said several times that we're on the right path, but we lack things. [Sergino] Dest at 20, in four years will be better. Pedri at his age is already brilliant, but in five years he will be better than any PSG midfielder.

"It's tough, especially with the [demands] from the press. But I am realistic.

“I always defend my team. We did everything. We can defend better; we can be more aggressive and we're going to change that and work on it.

"We lack things, sure, but I have never thought before this game that we didn't. It's not the end of the path. It seems I am more realistic than everyone else."

As pressure grows on his position – increasingly so as this defeat combines with last week’s 2-0 Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg loss to Sevilla – the ex-Everton and Southampton boss insists he will not quit.

"If I was someone who gets happy when we win and then after a result like today said I had no desire to continue, that would be crazy.

"I know where I am and what we have to change. We're trying. We're not at the end of the path yet, we're halfway down it."

Unfortunately, that path seems like a road to nowhere right now.

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