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MADRID, Spain – Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is worried about the critical mistakes his team keep making in key moments that have derailed its Champions League campaign and led to a disheartening 3-1 defeat at rivals Real Madrid in “El Clasico” on Sunday, October 16.
Real’s Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde, and Rodrygo were all on target as the dominant hosts deservedly won to leapfrog their rivals and move three points clear at the top of LaLiga.
“We are stuck in a negative dynamic, nothing works, and maybe it’s a moment to shake things up a little to try to get back on track,” Xavi told a news conference. “We are not [playing] well. I can’t be happy with almost anything, losing 3-1.”
“We were doing very well in LaLiga but we have to improve our forcefulness, aggressiveness… We had talked about it, that we had to learn how to stop the counterattacks, and in the first goal they caught us in a transition.”
The defeat was another blow to Xavi and his reeling Barca team, who are on the verge of Champions League elimination after a 3-3 home draw with Inter Milan in midweek.
Xavi said their dreadful results in Europe were not a factor in Sunday’s game but he saw many of the same mistakes committed by his team in the Champions League repeated at the Bernabeu.
“We have faith and self awareness. This is soccer, luckily today there were only three points in play. The misfortune was against Inter on Wednesday,” Xavi said.
“I don’t think the Inter game has had an influence, though.”
“Without playing a great game today we have had our moments to tie the game late, but when you miss chances against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu you are punished.”
The Barca boss suggested that he could make changes to his lineup to try to change the negative dynamics.
“Maybe it’s time to try different things. We need to be more mature, something that Real Madrid are,” Xavi said.
“They know how to hold and react, how to take advantages in key moments, they are a more mature and experienced team than we are and that was clear today.”
“I’m not pointing fingers at the players, I am the one in charge. I captain the ship.”
“Mistakes were made and we just need to grow up and be more mature.” – Rappler.com