The Catalans, at home, started on the front foot in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Raphinha as the attacking midfielder. The Brazilian went off injured in the first half, though, and was replaced by Fermin Lopez, who put in a tremendous shift.
Xavi spoke to the media post-game, saying, “We created chances, we felt comfortable against a great team. We’re happy and satisfied, but we must improve our finishing.”
“We created many chances and attacked well. I think it has been one of our best matches, but we’re frustrated because we didn’t score earlier.”
“We played great football against Sevilla, who are the Champions of the Europa League,” he added.
Xavi was also asked about the photo of Lamine Yamal together pre-El Clasico in 2016, when the winger was just nine years old and a mascot for the lineups.
“Football is crazy. These are the circumstances of life. It’s unexpected. Ramos is still playing and he was good today,” he commended the Spaniard.
The gaffer also continued to praise the veteran defender, saying, “Sergio Ramos is a spectacular defender. It’s incredible to see him at the top level at his age. He’s a great professional and I wish him all the best. He was unlucky to score an own goal today, but I love him a lot.”
La Masia galore: Gavi, Fermin, Balde and more
He also commented on Fermin Lopez’s contributions today, saying, “Fermin has played very well, he’s a top player. I hope he will be at the club for a very long time.”
“Fermin is a great player. He dominates both legs, he doesn’t lose balls. He has 1v1 dribbling, he can shoot from outside the box. He has many conditions to be a Barça player for many years. He’s very generous, and I’m so happy for him.”
“If Fermín believes in himself, he can mark an era at Barça. He needs to believe that he’s a good player, that he can consistently put up good performances,” he also said about the La Masia midfielder.
“I have a lot of faith in Gavi. He’s the soul of the team,” Xavi said about the youngster, who was once again, arguably the best player on the pitch.
“Gavi is vital for me. You said he didn’t fit anymore, he wasn’t going to play this season, he’s not gonna be important… Everything that you (the press) have come up with. The truth is that he’s irreplaceable.”
“It’s a pleasure to see so many La Masia players with the first team: Gavi, Lamine, Fermín, Balde…I’m so proud of them,” he concluded.
Injury updates: Raphinha, Araujo
As far as Raphinha is considered, Xavi gave an update about the 26-year-old’s injury: “We’ll know more about Raphinha’s injury tomorrow. I hope to have him available after the international break.”
Ronald Araujo was expected to start the game today, but stayed on the bench through the 90 minutes. Xavi explained, “Ronald Araujo was rested today. He’s coming back from an injury and we need him to stay fit.”