Ronald Koeman conceded that Barcelona were the worse of the two teams at the Camp Nou on Tuesday, where they lost 3-0 to Juventus, fired on by two Cristiano Ronaldo penalties.
The Catalans lost top spot to the Italians with the defeat, though they do still progress in second place.
“The defeat was the consequences of the first 25 minutes of the game,” Koeman said afterwards. “We started badly, fearfully, lacking aggression.
“It was like we went out to not lose, rather than to control the game.
“We weren’t good defensively, we lost the match in the first half hour. We weren’t at our usual level. But our form in the Champions League has been good.”
The Dutchman was left aggrieved that Barcelona weren’t awarded a penalty, having seen Juventus given two.
“If they give Cristiano one, then [Lionel] Messi’s is too,” Koeman said.
“But the loss was our own fault. It went wrong in the first half hour.”
Despite the defeat, Koeman isn’t too disheartened and trying to stay balanced.
“We played another game against Juventus and were good,” Koeman added.
“This is a lesson that we have to learn. They came out a lot better today.”
The coach made a number of changes to his side, which he says were done to keep his players fresh.
“I wanted to protect my players,” Koeman explained. “The calendar is very tightly packed.”