Without Dembélé, Lewandowski and Gavi, Xavi Hernández did not have too many options to draw his attack against Valencia. It was a good opportunity, in any case, for Raphinha, Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati to rebel against their fans, also against their coach, all three complaining about the minutes they have played in the season. None, however, inflated the self-esteem bar against Valencia. The Brazilian, at least, did nothing more (and nothing less) than the winning goal. From Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati, on the other hand, there was no good news, yes, instead, they were left in the window after a scuffle to see who would kick the penalty for Barça after Guillamón’s hand in the Mamardashvili area .
Ter Stegen, Alex Balde, A. Christensen, Koundé, Ronald Araújo, Busquets, Sergi Roberto (Eric Garcia, min. 81), Frenkie De Jong (Kessié Franck, min. 45), Ansu Fati (Marcos Alonso, min. 61) , Raphinha (Ángel Alarcón, min. 87) and Ferrán Torres
Mamardashvili, Foulquier, Cenk Özkacar, Eray Cömert (Mouctar Diakhaby, min. 54), Vazquez Alcalde, Thierry Correia (Samu Castillejo, min. 61), Andre Almeida (Yunus Musah, min. 78), Samuel Lino (Justin Kluivert, min. 78), Hugo Guillamón, Moriba Kourouma (Francisco Martinez, min. 61) and Hugo Duro
goals 1-0 min. 15: Raphinha.
Referee Javier Alberola Rojas
red cards Ronald Araujo (min. 58)
“There is an order in the penalties that we communicate to the players,” he commented. The first on the list to take charge of the maximum penalties is Lewandowski. With the Pole absent, the coaching staff delegated the decision to the footballers. “Ferran was on the list and they talk to each other,” explained the Barça coach. And he clarified: “We, the staff, make the list, but it is the players who have to talk about their feelings.” Torres, then, quickly took the leather. He needed the former Valencia player to inflate his confidence. But he found an unexpected opponent: Ansu Fati. “It is positive that Ansu wanted to take the penalty, a sign that he wants to make a difference. I’m happy with that attitude”, highlighted the Barça coach.
Ansu walks with the same penalty as Ferran Torres, distanced from the goal, also in the search to purge the bad streak. That strange situation was generated then, especially uncomfortable between Torres and Fati. And, as if that were not enough, Ferran Torres failed. An error that Xavi forgave him, but not the fans that whistled the Valencian striker. “We are not going to crucify him for missing a penalty,” said Xavi. And he continued: “Last week they applauded him. Ferran is an example, he is a 10 in work ”. And, as he values Ferran’s capacity for sacrifice, when Barça was left with 10 players, the Barça coach took Ansu Fati off the field. “The coaches think about the team. With one less, you had to sacrifice. We saw Ferran and Raphinha better. We didn’t want to single out anyone,” the coach completed.
The fans, then, turned to the youth squad. He had already chanted his name when Fati hit the post with a shot. “We had a ball hit the post. We are having a hard time building the game. It was a game in which if we scored 2-0, we would have been calm. In the end, we have made it difficult for ourselves again”, commented Xavi. Barcelona recovers in the League. After the defeat in the field of Almería, Xavi’s team is reunited with victory at the Camp Nou. And he does it with his fetish result: 1-0. Of the 24 games that the Catalan team has played this season in the League, eight have been won with that score. The figure, historic for Barça (it is the first time they have won so many with that result) stretches to 10 if the Cup duels are taken into account. “We must be more forceful in attack, but we must also highlight our solvency in defence. He is giving us a lot of things”, analyzed Xavi.
“The result is super positive, but you have to be self-critical. We must know that we have to improve in the game. We arrived just, also mentally fatigued. It will be good for us to rest and disconnect for a week”, concluded Xavi. In it, Sergi Roberto, who this week renewed his contract until 2024, remarked: “We have known how to suffer. That is also part of being a winning team.”
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