Jules Kounde admits that Barcelona’s defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League is “very painful” but should act as a learning process for the players.
Barcelona were beaten 2-1 at Old Trafford in the second leg of the play-off tie, going out 4-3 on aggregate to Erik ten Hag’s side.
Kounde says the dressing room is very disappointed by the loss and apologized to supporters for the early exit from the competition.
“This elimination is very painful. We had a good first half and in the second half we conceded too quickly. We lost control after the equalizer. We are very disappointed.” he said.
“I think we also have to give credit to our rival, who put in an extra gear in the second half. It was difficult for us.
“We have struggled, it is true that there is a lot of disappointment. I am sorry for the fans that came today and for the group because the goal was to win the Europa League.”
Barcelona were without Pedri, Gavi and Ousmane Dembele for the tie, which Kounde admitted was a crucial factor, but says the team can learn from this result
“I think we’ve had a lot of casualties in the Champions League and the rivals are stronger. This should help us learn. We have to go one step further and I’m sure we’ll do it next year,” he added.
“I think this is not a failure because of how we have competed. We are playing against a very fit opponent. We are a young squad and we must continue to grow.”
Barcelona now head home to prepare for a La Liga clash away to Almeria on Sunday.