Just when it appeared like Barcelona would be staring at their first defeat of the 2023/24 season, they mounted a sensational comeback to secure a 3-2 win over Celta Vigo.
Indeed, with ten minutes left on the clock, Barça were two goals behind, but Robert Lewandowski pulled a goal back and went on to equalise minutes later before Joao Cancelo thumped home the winner in the 89th minute.
The Portuguese international did not have the best of outings defensively, but more than made up for it with his attacking output as he set up Lewandowski’s equaliser before scoring the late winner.
Speaking to the media after playing a crucial role in the comeback win, Cancelo admitted that it was not his best performance but insisted that he preferred to play badly and end up on the winning side.
“It’s true that personally I was playing a very bad match, I was making a lot of mistakes. But I tried to give everything until the end and we were able to come back,” Cancelo said.
“There’s a lot to improve but it’s better to play poorly and win than to play well and lose.”
Talking about how the game unfolded, the Manchester City loanee added: “I think we were doing well. Celta were very tight and made the game very difficult for us. The most important thing is the three points.”
Cancelo was once again self-critical of his performance, but lauded the team’s ability to turn around a difficult situation, as he said:
“My head was lost in the match. I had a lot of technical errors that are not normal in my game. You have to improve and know how to turn the situation around and we have done that.”
On living his dream of playing for Barcelona, he said: “This is a dream for me. I saw the best team in football history; Barcelona 2009. And now, I’m playing for Barça too. It’s incredible and I can’t believe it.”
On the title race with arch-rivals Real Madrid, who are now behind Barça following tonight’s game, Cancelo stated: “We can’t look at Real Madrid. We have to focus on ourselves, on winning every match. La Liga is very good and any team can beat any other team.”
Signing off, Cancelo insisted that for Barça to sign him permanently at the end of the season, he will need to keep performing regularly, saying:
“If I perform well, the club will want me and if I don’t, they will send me off. We have to keep going, but these three points are very important.”