Frenkie de Jong played a big part in Barcelona’s win against Levante. The Dutchman topped off a complete game where he covered a lot of ground, and spoke in the post-match interview (via BarçaTV).
“We needed the win today after losing to Juventus.”Frenkie de Jong | Post-match interview
The loss to Juventus was a painful one. De Jong knows it and winning in the league relieved most Culés. The Catalans now have to look forward and win against Real Sociedad. If they go on a run after two hurtful losses, they will gain the confidence they lost against Cadiz and Juve back.
“If you suffer as a team, and in the end you get the win, it will give you a lot of confidence.”Frenkie de Jong | post-match interview
Is the Dutchman implying that his side suffered against Levante? While the visitors had a few chances at the start, the Catalans steamrolled them. Had Levante converted their opportunities earlier in the game, de Jong would have had different thoughts about the display.
“It always feels good to get an assist. But I know that I have to improve a lot.”Frenkie de Jong | Post-match interview
The 23-year-old got a lot of stick for his recent performances. Against Levante, he was one of the best players and he must have read the plethora of criticism Culés had for him. If his confidence, and the team’s, get a boost from overcoming this ordeal, the Catalan giants might finally become serious contenders.
Ronald Araujo returns to Barcelona first-team training ahead of Sevilla clash
This Saturday afternoon, Barcelona will travel to Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan to face Sevilla for the control of the third place in the table. The Andalusians have already proved they are an incredibly tricky opponent so this clash is bound to be a big one once more.
But there is some good news for Ronald Koeman ahead of the Saturday challenge. Barcelona have officially confirmed that Ronald Araujo is once again training with the team. Of course, the centre-back has been out of action for quite some time now and the Catalans have missed him dearly.
He may be still young and developing but the Uruguayan is a true rock in their defence. Having him available should definitely help in the remainder of the season, especially since Gerard Pique is also back.
However, we still don’t know whether Koeman will risk his defensive talisman right from the start this Saturday, even if he is given the green light. Sometimes, throwing players into the fire immediately, especially for such a huge game, can be counterproductive.
Araujo is surely eager to play but Koeman needs to think long-term when making this tricky decision. Despite the opposition and the importance of the match, maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to start him on the bench.
After all, he can always be substituted in if the team requires some extra solidity in the latter parts of the clash. Hopefully, however, it doesn’t come to that.
Either way, this is a must-win game and the team better be ready to face the challenge.