Barcelona failed to clinch the all-crucial three points against Osasuna as the former La Liga champions threw away a 2-1 lead in the dying moments of the game and allowed the home side to salvage a draw.
Barcelona’s second-half woes do not seem to end as they haven’t been able to maintain the intensity with which they start games for the entire duration of 90 minutes. Their opponents have been exploiting this particular weakness of theirs and that is something that Xavi will closely look at.
For Barcelona, the only positive was that the likes of Gavi, Nico, and Abde stepped up with the latter two finding the back of the net.
Barcelona’s senior players have been letting down Xavi by not stepping up and leaving the onus on the young engine of the Blaugrana. Having said that, it has been a tough week in general for the cules as they crashed out of the UEFA Champions League group stages and have been demoted to the Europa League. Moreover, they had the chance to close down the 5-point gap to fourth-placed Atleti to two points but that did not happen as well. Sunday’s result means that Xavi has now only two wins from his first six games in charge of the former La Liga champions.
Speaking about the recent run of results Xavi said, “We are in a negative spiral and we need to find a way to break it.”
Speaking about the younger players stepping up:
The former midfielder also expressed his disappointment over the senior players not stepping up in crunch situations and leaving the onus on the young La Masia graduates.
“We’re lucky with the contribution the youngsters are making. It was a great effort from the whole team, but it’s the youngsters making the difference — and that’s difficult to digest.”
The 41-year-old also said that the youngsters stepping up is certainly a positive but it was astonishing that the seniors were failing to support the younger crop of players. The Barca manager also revealed his frustration in only being able to salvage a draw from a game that should have been put to bed by the former La Liga champions.
About the result:
“This draw is not enough. When we scored the second goal we should have taken control but we didn’t and that made us suffer.”
It is likely that moving forward Xavi will entrust the youngsters with more responsibilities as the cycle of the older and senior players in the squad is slowly coming to an end. Come January 2022, Barcelona will be boosted by the return of Ansu Fati and Pedri. In other words, Fati and Pedri will be almost similar to two new signings for Xavi. The duo hasn’t played a single game from the six that Xavi has managed, owing to injuries.
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A medical student with an avid interest for the game.