Xavi: “The alarms went off after Girona but today it went well”

Therapeutic and reassuring victory for Barça and for Xavi.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
13 May 2024 Monday 04:38
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Xavi: “The alarms went off after Girona but today it went well”

Therapeutic and reassuring victory for Barça and for Xavi. The goals from Lamine Yamal and Raphinha from a penalty against Real Sociedad propel the Blaugrana towards second place in the League, one point ahead of Girona. There are three days left until the end of a course to forget and that will end blank. “Real Sociedad always make it difficult for us. It has much merit. Imanol seems like a fantastic coach to me. We were not expecting a line of five, he has matched us, they have put pressure on us... they always make it difficult for us,” Xavi explained.

Even so, the coach appreciated the team's response. “We have adjusted and recovered balls. In defense we suffered some balls behind Sheraldo Becker's back and in attack we did well. But we have to attack the spaces more. The victory takes us back to second place. We depend on ourselves. The alarms went off after Girona but today it went well. The team has character, it wants to finish second. They train well. “You have to do self-criticism,” analyzed the coach.

Barça won with a goal from Lamine Yamal in a counterattack led by Ilkay Gündogan and initiated by Lewandowski in the 40th minute and another from Raphinha from a penalty in the 94th minute. “Lamine Yamal is a player who makes the difference right now. He should be in the youth team and sometimes he disconnects tactically. He has things to improve and of course, he doesn't have to do everything perfect because he is 16 years old but he is a chosen one, he is differential. The growth is brutal in one year. He is faster, stronger... he has worked a lot with the physical trainers,” said Xavi. Much less forceful with Raphinha, second scorer of the night. ”We will decide at the end of the season. This is not the time to talk about him. I'm happy with his intensity. He played a great game. He has created chances, he is dynamic. I like it"

A happy Lamine Yamal responded to the coach's words. "It's a very important victory. We're going to try to make the points difference over Girona this week," said the winger who won the MVP of the game. "I've seen the Robert's filtered pass. Gündogan passed the ball to me and I just had to push it. It was important to score because Real came out very well but we settled down,” added Lamine Yamal, who was seen joking with. Lewandowski at the end of the game “We have discussed everything. There is a good vibe with Lewandowski and with the whole team,” said Lamine.

Indeed, Robert Lewandowski left with a grim face when Xavi replaced him in the 76th minute. The Pole has not finished three of the last four games. “It's normal that he got angry. I also got angry when I played. But we play on Thursday and Sunday, there are three games in one week. We thought that the entry of Ferran and Fermín would help us with the pressure and intensity. It's nothing personal, I always think about the collective. You have to dose it,” explained Xavi. The coach left Vitor Roque on the bench again. “I will not respond to Cury or any representative,” he warned, referring to the words of Roque's representative in Rac 1 who said that if he left he had to be transferred and not transferred. “I will say that Roque was in trouble, he gave himself a strong blow to the ankle in training yesterday. He has entered the squad but has not warmed up for that reason,” said Xavi. It is the fifth game in which the Brazilian remains on the bench.

Two happy footballers who did complete the 90 minutes were the center backs Pau Cubarsí and Iñigo Martínez. “Against Real is always a difficult match, we have tried to play our football. All the games can be complicated for you because the other rivals do very well. Now that we have not won the League, we must fight until the end to finish second,” Cubarsí said. “This will be a battle until the end. Girona has been learning and demonstrating all year. But we will fight it. Today the pressure was not good in the first half and Real Sociedad put us on the ropes but then we were able to take the three points,” reflected Iñigo Martínez.

And the handball on Odriozola that led to the penalty that Raphinha converted? “I didn't see them. In fact, he claimed a foul on Fermín,” said Xavi. “If they had called it on me, she would have made me angry. The regulations are not clear. Some referees whistle them and others don't. You always have doubts,” said Iñigo Martínez.