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Xavi talks Dembele, Pedri, Eric Garcia, Gavi, de Jong following Girona 0-1 Barcelona



Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Coming off a scrappy, but brilliant 1-0 win against Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey, Barcelona had the chance to put pressure on Real Madrid in the league as they took on Girona in gameweek 19.

And after a horribly dull 90 minutes, Xavi’s men were able to walk out victors courtesy of a second-half winner from Pedri.

This was unquestionably one of the Catalans’ worst performances of the season, and Xavi acknowledged the same in his post-game press conference, saying, “We didn’t create chances, but we were fairly comfortable with the ball. We needed to play much faster, though.”

“We need to develop the confidence to do more things in attack. We created many chances with our pressing, but we did not do well in the attack. We have to be calmer in the opposition’s half,” he added.

“I am happy with the win, but we have to be self-critical with the match. This is NOT the way forward, and we were not brave enough.”

While Barcelona got all three points, they were struck with a huge blow as Ousmane Dembele limped out injured within the first 30 minutes of the game. He is said to have picked up a quadricep injury, which could rule him out for a few weeks.

“Dembele is a difference-maker. I think he’s injured. It’s a real shame. He felt something in his quads,” Xavi confirmed.

“Dembele was playing so well, giving so much for us. Let’s hope his injury is the least severe possible. His injury turns our plans upside down.”

Pedri did not start the game, but came on for Dembouz, and eventually scored the winner. Xavi was all praise for the Golden boy after the game.

“Pedri is a differential. He looks between the lines and attacks the spaces. Add goals to that, and we are talking about one of the best midfielders in the world at 20 years old.”

He also added a touch of criticism for him, though, saying, “Pedri has to improve his final pass, become more brave. But yes, Gavi and Frenkie need to improve that, too.”

Eric Garcia was one of the standout performers as well, coming up clutch in the second half, especially. The gaffer acknowledged his display, especially since he has been pushed down the pecking order recently.

“Eric was great, especially in the second half. He’s a guarantee. I have a lot of confidence in him, and I have said it many times.”

The Spaniard will definitely get more time as the season wears on, though, especially with Gerard Pique having announced his retirement in the winter. Memphis Depay also left the club to join Atletico Madrid, but despite that, Xavi affirmed that he has not asked the board for new players.

“I did not request the signing of a new attacker. We have several options, we don’t need more.”

He ended his presser on a positive note, though, complimenting his players and the opposition.

“The thing that has changed the most this season is the confidence of the players. Last season, when I arrived, their confidence was on the floor.”

“I always want to win 4-0, but it’s not always possible. Our rivals are very good. This is a competition.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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