Furious Xavi rips Barca's 'worst game of season'

1 month ago 51

8:26 PM GMT

  • Sam Marsden

  • Moises Llorens

An aggravated Xavi Hernandez slammed Barcelona for their "worst show of the season" aft losing 1-0 astatine Almeria and missing the accidental to determination 10 points wide of Real Madrid successful LaLiga.

El Bilal Toure scored the lone extremity of the crippled to extremity Barca's 13-game unbeaten streak successful LaLiga and manus the leaders conscionable their 2nd league decision of the season.

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The nonaccomplishment leaves Barca 7 points wide of Madrid, who had been held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid connected Saturday.

"I americium truly angry," Xavi said aft the match. "It was the worst crippled of the play from my constituent of view, supra each successful the archetypal half. It was a time to marque a connection successful LaLiga, and determination is nary excuse. There was nary intensity, determination was not adjacent a tendency to win, and that worries me. We slipped up and we apologise to the fans. If we privation to triumph LaLiga, we person to alteration chip.

"Luckily we person a seven-point cushion, but we cognize it's going to beryllium hard to triumph LaLiga. The archetypal fractional is the happening that has astir disappointed maine this season. We showed religion successful the 2nd half, but the archetypal fractional angered me."

The astonishment nonaccomplishment caps a disappointing week for Barcelona, who were knocked retired of the Europa League connected Thursday by Manchester United astatine Old Trafford.

Things don't get immoderate easier for the Catalans, who question to look Madrid successful the archetypal limb of the Copa del Rey semifinal connected Thursday. They volition inactive beryllium without Pedri and Ousmane Dembele -- who some missed the Almeria crippled with injuries -- astatine the Santiago Bernabeu, but Ansu Fati could return.

"Of people we volition prime ourselves up," Xavi said. "People cannot deliberation we volition triumph LaLiga easily. It is going to beryllium truly hard to triumph trophies. We are competing against the existent champion of LaLiga and the Champions League [Madrid]. We are Barca, but we person to play with much strength and bushed than this. It was a immense disappointment."

Midfielder Frenkie de Jong said Barca's show astatine Almeria should not beryllium attributed to a hangover from the United crippled oregon thoughts turning to the Copa Clasico prematurely.

"We person not thought astir the Clasico," helium told reporters. "LaLiga is precise important and the adjacent crippled is ever the astir important. ... Things conscionable did not travel off, particularly successful the archetypal half. Now we person to support going and enactment hard to improve.

"We are truly disappointed. We had the accidental to spell 10 clear. Now it's inactive 7 but ... we did not expect to suffer this game."

It was a first-ever triumph for Almeria implicit Barcelona successful 16 games, but much importantly, it ended a tally of 3 successive defeats to determination them retired of the relegation zone.

"The triumph is what stays with america supra all," manager Rubi said. "After 3 losses successful a row, with teams astatine the bottommost getting results elsewhere, we could person ended successful the bottommost 3 today. In addition, we had the champion squad successful the league coming here, the leaders, and we managed to support them out. We worked hard, truthful hard, not to permission them spaces."

Almeria held Barca to conscionable 1 changeable connected target, portion they had four, and Rubi said it was a show to savour.

"When [teams are] crossing, crossing, crossing, I deliberation we are OK," helium said. "We didn't endure successful that country excessively much. I disquieted much erstwhile they played done the lines.

"We worked extraordinarily hard, scored a extremity we person worked connected and our goalkeeper has hardly had a prevention to make. Everything came disconnected and it's a time we volition retrieve for a agelong time."

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