Home Sports FC Barcelona Coach Xavi Hails ‘Perfect’ Atletico Madrid Thrashing And Criticizes ‘Unfair’ Red Card

FC Barcelona Coach Xavi Hails ‘Perfect’ Atletico Madrid Thrashing And Criticizes ‘Unfair’ Red Card

by editor

Xavi Hernandez hailed his FC Barcelona team for being “brilliant” and working “perfectly” against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, though he felt his red card dismissal was “unfair” and “unnecessary”.

Barca played what many felt was their best game of the season in the Metropolitano, and went back to Catalonia with a 3-0 win that put them second place two points clear of Girona going into the international break.

Post match, Xavi told DAZN Espana that he was “very happy” with his side’s showing, as several players seemed to have been given a boost following passage to the Champions League quarterfinals midweek.

“We’ve been brilliant. It was a similar game to the one against Napoli. Robert [Lewandowski] has been very active. Fermin [Lopez], Joao [Felix] … We found the third man. It was an ideal match of our philosophy of play. The work we did went perfectly,” the manager beamed.

With 17-year-old Pau Cubarsi and Ronald Araujo again solid at the back and helping keep a clean sheet, Xavi said that Atleti “generated very little” because of Barca’s strong showing defensively-speaking.

Considering injuries to Gavi, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, something even more remarkable is that this resounding victory in one of Spain’s most difficult grounds was achieved with a makeshift midfield of Ilkay Gundogan, Fermin and Sergi Roberto.

SportsMoney Playbook: Sign up for SportsMoney Playbook for the latest sports news and analysis of valuations, signings, gambling and billionaire owners.Sign Up

By signing up, you accept and agree to our Terms of Service (including the class action waiver and arbitration provisions), and you acknowledge our Privacy Statement. Forbes is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Gundogan was outstanding as a pivot, in a more defensive position than the one he was expected to play thanks to a last minute niggle suffered by current stand-in and usual center back Andreas Christensen, which meant Roberto got the nod.

“The idea was to put Gundogan in as a midfielder on the right, but Christensen had some discomfort. We chose Fermin because he attacks the spaces very well. Gundo at the base of midfield also gives us a lot. He always sees the free man. He’s a perfect match in positional play,” Xavi said, complimenting the German.

As for being dismissed in the first half, Xavi thought it wasn’t called for.

“The least important thing is the sending off,” he insisted. “The fourth official told me it’s because of the gestures [I made]. I make gestures because I’m passionate. The sending off was unnecessary and unfair, but the important thing is the team.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment