Despite what the narrow 1-0 margin on the scoreboard may suggest, Barcelona thoroughly dominated against Atletico Madrid last night, securing a victory that especially meant a lot within the context of the league table.
After a positive second half against FC Porto, Xavi’s men went on to build on those foundations, with far more emphasis on progression through the midfield.
As such, the talented midfield trio stood out remarkably, and Frenkie de Jong was one of the players to enjoy a masterful performance.
Speaking after the match, he opened up about the win and matters related to it. Firstly, recognizing an innate deficiency in the finishing department, he claimed chances went down the drain early on, but at the end of the day, all that matters is taking home the spoils of victory.
“The first half was very good. We created a lot of chances and should have scored more, but it doesn’t matter if it’s 1-0 or 2-0; what matters is the win,” he claimed (h/t Ziggo Sport).
A great deal of focus was on Joao Felix, who was hoping to prove a point before the game, considering his strained relationship with Atletico Madrid.
The Dutchman shed light on the Portuguese’s performance, as his goal turned out to be the difference between both sides.
“It is always nice to score the winning goal, but today in particular was even more beautiful. He is a great player,” he remarked.
The reporter then flattered Frenkie with some praise, claiming, “Someone in the newspapers said that he is the best player in Barcelona, but that is not possible. You are the best.”
Responding to the acclaim, Frenkie shifted the focus back to Felix, stating: “Felix is a truly great player. He is naturally talented, and his touches exude class. If he focuses and continues to work as he is doing now, he can become a great player.“
While Barcelona have climbed their way back up to third place, overcoming Real Madrid is still a priority. The former Ajax man was asked to speak about the fact that their rivals are four points ahead, to which he said:
“Four is a lot. We lost unnecessary points. We should not lose more. We will try to reduce the difference as quickly as possible.”
Finally, Frenkie was asked the reason for the good performance after two alright ones.
“Yes, this happens in football. Also, injuries did not help. This should not be an excuse because we have a great team, but you will suffer when you lose 4/5 key players who play a lot, and you will have fewer options,” he answered.