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Xavi talks Frenkie de Jong, Raphinha, Yamal following heroic Barcelona 3-2 win vs Celta Vigo



Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona just gave their fans an incredible match to enjoy at the Olympic Saint Montjuic against Celta Vigo as they came back from 0-2 down to win 3-2.

All hope seemed lost in the 76th minute when Anastasios Douvikas scored the second for the visitors. However, Robert Lewandowski’s brilliant finish off Joao Felix’s assist injected hope into the side.

The Polish striker was on target once again four minutes later as Joao Cancelo found him inside the box from a cutback. No less than another four minutes later, it was the Portuguese’s turn to complete the comeback as he tapped in a brilliant cross from Gavi.

Following the game, Xavi spoke to the media about the game, and highlighted several key moments from it.

“When you don’t play well, you have to compete and win.”

“The comeback was everything. We believed until the end. We played with courage and belief, but we were very disorganized today,” he added, evidently not happy with the overall performance.

Xavi opted to bring on Lamine Yamal and Ronald Araujo on at half-time, and eventually took off Andreas Christensen as well, leaving just two defenders on the pitch, with Alejandro Balde and Joao Cancelo pushing very high.

“When we were losing, we risked everything to play with just two defenders,” he said about it.

“The comeback was due to the players. They believed in it, and that means we’re a team.”

Raphinha was kept as the fifth substitution in the team, and it was his threaded pass that found Cancelo for Lewandowski’s equaliser. He played as a no. 10, though, with Lamine Yamal occupying the right wing.

“Raphinha is a player who can play more centrally, I told him to swap positions with Lamine, his crosses with both legs are very dangerous. We needed to shake up the team, we took a lot of risks, that’s why we have suffered so much,” Xavi said about the Brazilian.

The coach believes that today’s result would have a long-term positive impact on the team, in terms of how they build their character and mentality.

“Today’s match is a turning point. Not everything is about football. It’s about character, the mentality to show that you want to win.”

“Normally, a 0-2 result at home would have you defeated, but it’s different for this amazing group of young players. You can see the generational change that’s happening,” he added.

Frenkie de Jong had to be taken off in the first half due to a knock, and Xavi updated about his situation, saying, “De Jong requested to be subbed off. He has an injury, but we hope it’s as small as possible.”

“More tests have to be done, but Frenkie de Jong is strong. If he couldn’t continue, then he has something.”

A one-goal deficit puts Barcelona just above Girona in the league standings, in first place, until Real Madrid play Atletico Madrid tomorrow night, anyway.

“We’ll sleep as the league leaders. That’s a positive thing. Hopefully, at the end of the season, we can say that these three points made us win the league.”

Finally, on Lamine Yamal’s difficulty on the right wing today, Xavi said, “It was difficult for us to find Lamine Yamal, but he played a good match and respected the position he was playing in with the equaliser. It’s important that Lamin gets minutes

Source: Esport3

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