Barcelona place Sergi Barjuan in temporary charge following Koeman sacking

By Sports Desk October 28, 2021

Barcelona have named Sergi Barjuan as their interim head coach while they search for a permanent successor to Ronald Koeman.

The Catalan giants sacked Koeman on Wednesday following a 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano that leaves them ninth in LaLiga with 10 matches played.

Koeman lasted just 14 months in the job after replacing Quique Setien in August 2020 and departs Camp Nou with a 58.21 win percentage across his 67 games in charge.

Widespread reports from Spain suggest legendary Barcelona midfielder Xavi, who is in charge of Qatari side Al Sadd, is being lined up to replace the former Netherlands boss as early as next week.

Talks between the two parties are said to be ongoing, but Barca have moved to place Sergi in charge for the time being.

The former left-back, who has spent the past four months at the helm of Barcelona's B side, will be introduced to the first-team squad ahead of Thursday's training session.

He has also previously managed Zhejiang Greentown, Real Mallorca, Almeria and Recreativo following a 15-year playing career that saw him spend nine seasons at Camp Nou.

The LaLiga side confirmed the news on their official website, with Sergi set to speak to the media for the first time on Friday ahead of this weekend's visit of Deportivo Alaves.

Barca then have a crucial Champions League trip to Dynamo Kiev before travelling to Celta Vigo in their final league game before the international break.

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    This week sees the end of the group stages for this season's Champions League with honour, ambition and, yes, prize money on the line.

    Two Spanish giants are being made to sweat on matchday six as Atletico Madrid need a win and a favour to stay in the competition, while Barcelona quite probably need to beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena to avoid dropping into the Europa League.

    Atalanta and Villarreal will battle it out for second place in Group F, while Real Madrid and Inter face off at the Santiago Bernabeu to determine who will win Group D.

    Group G will perhaps be the most dramatic, with all four participants in with a chance of finishing first or second, but what exactly does each team need from their final group game? Stats Perform has the answers for you here...

     

    Group A

    Manchester City have already secured top spot after beating Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 on matchday five, with the French side definitely finishing second, sitting four points behind City and four points ahead of both RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.

    Leipzig, who sacked coach Jesse Marsch over the weekend, host City and need to match or better Club Brugge's result to clinch third place and a Europe League spot.

    The Belgians must get something from their trip to Paris and hope that they achieve a better result than Leipzig.

     

    Group B

    Liverpool have had first place sewn up since they beat Atletico Madrid at Anfield on matchday four and now sit 10 points ahead of second place in what had been labelled a 'group of death' when the draw took place.

    It's all to play for otherwise, though, with Porto second. A win for them at home to Atletico will confirm their passage to the knockout stage. A draw will also be fine as long as Milan do not beat Liverpool at San Siro.

    Milan need to win against the Reds and hope the other game is a draw, while the Spanish champions have to beat Porto and hope that the Italians fail to beat Liverpool.

     

    Group C

    The most straightforward group of all as every position has already been confirmed, with Ajax top, Sporting CP joining them in the knockout stage as runners-up, while Borussia Dortmund will go into the Europa League and Besiktas are out.

     

    Group D

    Real Madrid and Inter have both qualified, with Carlo Ancelotti's men only needing to avoid defeat to the Italians at the Santiago Bernabeu to top the group. Inter need to beat Madrid to overtake them.

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    Group E

    Bayern Munich have won the group and Dynamo Kyiv will finish bottom, but the battle for second and third is going to the wire.

    Barcelona have a two-point advantage in second place, but travel to Bayern, while Benfica host Dynamo, with the Portuguese side boasting the superior head-to-head record over the Catalans.

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    Group F

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    Young Boys can still claim a Europa League spot if they beat United at Old Trafford and Atalanta lose.

     

    Group G

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    "This is the culture, and the new manager will be similar like that. The impact of a new manager is clear, players open their eyes and play for the Europa League, an incredible competition, the money from UEFA. 

    "We won at home, it was difficult, what they did in Bruges [a 5-0 win over Club Brugge]. There are highs and lows this season but the philosophy, the way they play versus Paris Saint-Germain, they should win 2-0,3-0. 

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