Friday, January 28, 2022

´It´ll be difficult for me to sleep´ – Barca boss Xavi frustrated with draw against 10-man Sevilla

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 21 Dec 2021

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Xavi said he would struggle to sleep after Barcelona were unable to take advantage of their dominance in a 1-1 draw with Sevilla on Tuesday.

Los Nervionenses went ahead in the 32nd minute thanks to Alejandro Gomez’s cool finish, but Barca pulled level on the stroke of half-time courtesy of Ronald Araujo’s header.

It was no less than Barca deserved, given they had attempted 15 shots in the opening period – the most of any team in a first half in LaLiga this season.

Jules Kounde was dismissed in the 64th minute for throwing the ball at Jordi Alba’s face after a coming together between the two players, yet Barca were unable to make their numerical advantage count in the closing stages.

It meant the Blaugrana have won only one of their past eight away games in the top flight, and while Xavi was frustrated with his side’s inability to leave Andalusia with all three points, he was pleased with their performance.

“We have lost two points; we deserved to win, even when it was 11 against 11,” he told Movistar.

“It will be difficult for me to sleep because we should have won. Sevilla were able to cool the game down; they are a veteran team, they know what they are doing and they work very well tactically.

“This Barca is close to the one we want, to be protagonists and be brave. It is the right way.

“I have seen a Barca with personality. It is what we want and the team is growing.

“We were good at high pressuring, recovering after losing the ball and the circulation of the ball. We competed very well, despite the draw.”

Ousmane Dembele’s future has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks and he showed why Barca are keen to keep hold of him with a bright display.

The France international had a game-high five shots – one of which struck the upright late on – while no player on the pitch bettered his four key passes.

He also registered his second assist in as many games, sending in the corner for Araujo’s header, to equal his tally from his previous 34 appearances for Barca in all competitions.

Xavi was pleased with Dembele’s contribution and wants to see more of the same when Barca resume action after the mid-season break against Real Mallorca on January 2.

“We want this from him,” Xavi added. “I say the same for [Ez] Abde or Ansu [Fati] when they are playing.

“We want pure wingers in the team; let them prove how good they are.

“It’s a pity the goal was missing but he played a very good match.”

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