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Soccer-Koeman enthused by Barca spirit with 10 men

VIGO — Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman praised his side’s fighting spirit and discipline after they eased to a 3-0 win at Celta Vigo on Thursday despite playing the entire second half with 10 men.

Barca defender Clement Lenglet was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 41st minute when Barca were 1-0 up thanks to an early strike from Ansu Fati.

But the Catalans played even better with 10 men and deservedly extended their lead through an own goal from Lucas Olaza, forced by a superb run by Lionel Messi, and a goal in added time from Sergi Roberto.

“I’m so proud of the team for how they played tonight. We worked very well and played with a lot of discipline with one player less,” Koeman told reporters after a second win in a row to start the La Liga campaign.

“We are doing very well and results like this invite us to think we are on the right path.”

Barca were often over-powered by teams last season, none more so than in their humiliating 8-2 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich, but they looked far stronger and fitter against Celta.

“We play like we train, you can tell that we are in a much better shape physically,” added Koeman.

“It’s not my business to talk about last season, I only care about this one but from day one I’ve seen these players show that they are hungry and motivated about redeeming themselves.” (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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