Xavi Hernandez analyses Barcelona stumble against Girona in La Liga

Xavi Hernandez analyses Barcelona stumble against Girona in La Liga

FC Barcelona faced a tough 2-4 defeat at home against Catalan rivals Girona, who now lead the La Liga standings with a seven-point advantage.

Under the leadership of Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona struggled to maintain control throughout the match. Girona took an early lead, and though Robert Lewandowski managed to equalize, the visitors reclaimed their advantage before adding a third goal in the dying minutes. Despite a stoppage-time effort from Ilkay Gundogan, Girona sealed the victory with a fourth goal courtesy of Cristhian Stuani.

Speaking post-match, Xavi acknowledged the challenges, emphasizing the evenness of the contest. He praised Girona's performance, stating, "Girona have a lot of advantages; they are 7 points ahead of us, and the work of Michel and his players is amazing." Xavi pointed out the match's details, highlighting that "whoever hits will win," and admitted that Barcelona lacked effectiveness and made defensive mistakes.

Analysing the overall game, Xavi noted the difficulty faced by Barcelona. He expressed his belief in the team's control and dominance, urging them to continue on the same path despite the setback. "It is a strong blow for us, but we must move forward. Often times you have to take one step back to take two steps forward," he stated.

Addressing the issues that led to the defeat, Xavi pinpointed the team's failure to control details and press without the ball. He defended the performance, stating, "The result was disastrous, but the performance was not. After 31 shots on goal, we have to be more effective."

Xavi defended star striker Lewandowski, acknowledging his contribution with the equalizer and near miss for the third goal. Regarding Barcelona loanee Eric Garcia's standout performance for Girona, Xavi expressed regret at his departure, noting the different pressures playing for Girona versus Barcelona.

Looking ahead, Xavi emphasized the stakes for Barcelona in the remainder of the season, stating, "We always have a lot at stake. We're still in the Champions League race, and we must continue." Despite the heavy defeat, Xavi dismissed doubts, affirming discussions with the president and football analysts about potential alternatives.

In the wake of this setback, Xavi and Barcelona now face a significant challenge in the La Liga title race, with Girona establishing themselves as formidable contenders.

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