Jules Kounde: Barcelona loss to Manchester United was not a total failure

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Despite their disappointment, defender Jules Kounde refused to classify the loss as a failure in an interview after the match with Movistar+. "I am very disappointed, because the goal was to win the Europa League," Kounde told Movistar+. "It's a disappointment, but we can't say it's a failure, because we've competed. They've been two very even games against one of the fittest rivals." Kounde also acknowledged the youthfulness of the squad, but maintained their ambition to improve. "We are a young team, we have improved and we are going to continue growing. We have to go one step further and next year we are going to do it." The Blaugrana led the first-half 1-0 but lost control in the second, conceding two goals to a strong Manchester United side. "We played a good first-half, but in the second half we conceded the equaliser too quickly and we lost control. You have to give the opposition the credit they deserve. They went up a gear and have made it very difficult for us," Kounde said. Barcelona's exit from the Europa League marks yet another disappointment for the club in Europe, putting pressure on manager Xavi Hernandez to bring success in the future. With a mix of financial issues at the club, failure to secure the La Liga title could lead to questions about the wisdom of the club's recent spending. The Blaugrana now turn their focus to La Liga, where they will seek to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the table over rivals Real Madrid.

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