FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez doesn’t believe his team deserved to win at Real Sociedad on Saturday.
The Blaugrana picked up a much-needed three points in Anoeta on Saturday but looked to be well on their way to a stalemate that would have left them trailing La Liga leaders Girona by six.
Deep into injury time, however, defender Ronald Araujo ran into the box and headed home Ilkay Gundogan’s inch perfect cross over the La Real back line which was enough to steal a 1-0 win.
Speaking in a post-match interview, Xavi remarked that his team had gotten “rid of the anger we had from El Clasico”.
At the Montjuic Stadium last weekend, it was felt that Barca were the best team for good hour against Real Madrid before a Jude Bellingham double canceled out Gundogan’s early strike and sentenced the Catalans to their first defeat of the season.
“Today was the other way around. We took a very important victory,” Xavi said, before adding that his team hadn’t played well.
“Today we really have to be self-critical. We didn’t deserve to win,” he stressed.
Then at his press conference, Xavi said that Saturday’s showing “is an example of exactly the opposite of what we have to do on the pitch”.
“At the same time, winning without deserving to win is important for champions.”
Looking for explanations for the limp display, Xavi offered that “it seems like El Clasico affected us more than I thought”.
“The first 25 minutes of this match are completely unacceptable,” he stated. “We did not put intensity into the first half. I am very frustrated. This is not the way forward.”
Xavi revealed that he asked his players if they were tired at half time for playing with a lack of intensity that was “completely unacceptable”.
Whatever the reason was for the performance, however, Barca still ran out winners to keep the pressure on Real Madrid who meet Rayo Vallecano late on Sunday evening.
Sure to get a dressing down in training, Barca must now prepare for a Champions League date with Shakhtar Donetsk in Hamburg on Tuesday.