Barcelona stumbled to yet another defeat in La Liga, this time to Real Valladolid. The 3-1 result away from home was not exactly what Barça were looking for in these final few matches of the season.
Quite surprisingly, Xavi Hernandez was not too happy with the result either. “We have to play better. I’m not angry, but I don’t like to lose and we just lost two matches in a row,” he said during the post-match presser.
“We did well in the first half, but we conceded two goals because we were tense. It’s natural. But we fell down in the second half,” he added. “We wanted to win. We had our chances and Masip was exceptional. Valladolid played well today and we congratulate them.
Xavi went on to suggest that the defeat should be credited to Barcelona slacking off. “We failed today as a result of relaxation. These results are the result of our lack of responsibility, but we are still trying,” he said.
The Barcelona coach did praise Valladolid for their performance, though, adding, “Valladolid needs this much more than us and they have shown it. They needed a victory in their home, they pushed us with their forwards and it worked out well because they caused two of our errors.”
Xavi further admitted that he is having a difficult time preparing for these final few matches this season as Barcelona do not have a clear objective. “I’m finding it harder to prepare for these last few games, as we don’t have the pressure of winning La Liga,” the coach said.
The Spaniard went on to address why Marc-Andre ter Stegen was subbed off at half-time while also praising Robert Lewandowski for his goal. “Zamora Trophy objective for Ter Stegen is clear and we want to help him. Just like Lewandowski, the good news is that he scored today. Having achieved the collective goals, now we only have individual goals left,” he said.
The Zamora trophy is a prestigious title for goalkeepers in Spain. It is awarded to goalkeepers with the best goal-to-game ratio at the end of the season. ter Stegen is currently leading the chart with 0.42 ratio, but Barcelona had feared it could have increased in these final few matches.
Xavi, meanwhile, also addressed the recent speculations over the future of Jules Kounde. He dismissed them as market rumours. “When I spoke with Kounde, we knew where the conversation was going and we both left happy. I spoke with Kounde. I was very clear with him, and he knows that the media are making a lot of noise. There’s no problem,” he said.
The Barcelona coach was asked about Vinicius’ suspension being overturned as well. “I’m surprised that Vinicius’ suspension has been removed. There was aggression and that’s unquestionable,” he said.
Finally, Xavi admitted he is happy with Barcelona’s achievements this season, especially on the face of World Cup pressure, among other things. “We carry a huge workload throughout the season, in a World Cup year as well. We have met the objectives of the Super Cup and La Liga. I understand the downturn, but the impressions sadden me. We have to improve.”