Barcelona kept the pressure up on their rival La Liga title challengers on Thursday night with a 5-2 victory over Getafe at Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi, the game’s standout performer, helped himself to a brace. The Argentine also provided the assist for Ronald Araujo and sacrificed his chance to complete a hat-trick by allowing Antoine Griezmann to take Barça’s penalty in stoppage time.
The win leaves Ronald Koeman’s side third in the table, two points behind Real Madrid and five points behind league-leaders Atletico. Barcelona, however, have a game in hand over the two sides above them.
One of the biggest talking points after the match, though, involved defender Oscar Mingueza.
The 21-year-old was subbed off by Koeman with 15 minutes remaining before being blanked by his manager as he made his way to the stands.
Minutes earlier, Koeman was seen screaming in Mingueza’s direction as the defender joined an attack when Barça were only 3-2 up.
Per The Spanish Football Podcast on Twitter, Koeman shouted: “We’re playing with three!”
This was a reminder to Mingueza that he was supposed to be playing as Barcelona’s third centre-back.
Koeman reacted by sending Samuel Umtiti on in the 21-year-old’s place.
Mingueza was consoled by substitute Riqui Puig as he made his way towards the dugout.
He then attempted to shake Koeman’s hand but was ignored by the Dutchman, who was still angry with the young defender’s decision to leave his position at such a crucial moment in the game.
Watch the footage here…
Considering this is Mingueza’s maiden season as a first-team player at Barcelona, it seemed an overly harsh reaction from Koeman.
And the former Southampton and Everton boss admitted his angry reaction was “a bit exaggerated” after the match.
“Maybe I was a bit exaggerated, because he’s having a great season,” Koeman said of Mingueza, per Goal. “The youngsters have to learn that with Barcelona you have to always be 100 per cent focused in every game. His substitution had no relation with my anger.”
In any case, Mingueza didn’t look best pleased with his manager’s curious reaction as he took his place in the stands – and who can blame him?
Barça now turn their attention to Villarreal on Sunday afternoon.
Koeman’s side end their La Liga campaign with fixtures against Granada, Valencia, Atleti, Levante, Celta Vigo and Eibar.
(Credit: The Football Terrace)