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Luuk de Jong, Gavi and Pedri speak out after Barcelona draw against Espanyol



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Barcelona snatched a draw from the clutches of defeat as Luuk de Jong’s last-ditch strike helped them to a 2-2 draw against Espanyol in the Catalan derby on Sunday.

The Blaugrana were off to a blazing start with Pedri netting a goal in just two minutes. However, Sergi Darder equalised for the home team late in the first half before Raul de Tomas doubled their lead in the 64th minute.

Barça were unable to find a way through as they pushed in search of a leveller. But in the sixth minute of stoppage time, substitute Luuk de Jong buried home a cross from Adama Traore to rescue a point for the team.

Speaking after the game (h/t BarçaTV+), Luuk de Jong opened up on his goal and the outcome of the game, saying: “It was a good feeling. I wanted to have the ball come back to the middle quickly to score another goal and win the game.”

“We are Barcelona. We have to win the derby, but unfortunately that didn’t happen today.”

Speaking of his reduced role as a substitute despite being in good form since the start of 2022, the Dutchman said: “I have to be ready when the team wants me, even if it’s off the bench.”

As for his future beyond the ongoing season, the Sevilla loanee added: “I do not like to talk about myself. But I focus only on the club and I will play and give everything I have for the team and see what happens in the future.”

Pedri, who opened the scoring in the second minute with a volleyed effort, spoke about the result stating that Luuk de Jong’s equaliser was a positive moment, but the team was disappointed with the outcome.

“It was a great feeling after Luuk’s goal, but there is a disappointment because we wanted to win. We are unhappy because we lost two points. We are Barcelona,” he said.

The midfielder insisted that the team needed to stay calmer and more composed in key moments of the game, saying: “We should have been calmer. It cost us in the second goal of Espanyol.”

However, the Spaniard was pleased that the team stayed in fourth place despite the result. “We wanted to stay in fourth place and that’s what happened,” he said.

Gavi was involved in a key moment during the game as he saw a goal get chalked off in the second period as Frenkie de Jong was adjudged to have been involved in the lead-up from an offside position.

Talking about the ruled out goal, the teenage prodigy said: “I don’t think canceling my goal was a correct decision, but we got a point in the end.”

The 17-year-old also opened up on being asked to play out on the left wing again on Sunday saying: “I’m proud to play for Barcelona and I’ll play where the coach wants me to.”

As for the objectives for the rest of the season, Gavi added: “Our goal is to win La Liga. There are a lot of games left until the end of the season in La Liga and anything is possible.”

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