HomeSports'Frustrated' Xavi: Barça deserved to win Clásico

‘Frustrated’ Xavi: Barça deserved to win Clásico

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández was left frustrated after losing Saturday’s El Clásico 2-1 to Real Madrid in a game he felt his team deserved to win.

Ilkay Gündogan opened the scoring but a second-half brace from Jude Bellingham, including a 92nd-minute winner, saw Madrid claim the points at the Olympic Stadium.

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The victory takes Madrid back to the top of LaLiga, level on points with Girona and four clear of Barcelona, who stay third.

“The summary of the game is very simple,” Xavi said in his postmatch news conference.

“We had 60 really good minutes and scored one goal. Madrid had 20 good minutes and scored twice.”

Xavi switched to a back three for the game, with Ronald Araújo paired with Andreas Christensen and Iñigo Martínez in defence and João Cancelo and Alejandro Balde acting as wing-backs.

Barça started well, with Gündogan on target early on. Fermín López and Martínez both then hit the woodwork for the home team, while Kepa Arrizabalaga made a good save from Araújo before Madrid turned the game around.

“As I said, from my point of view, we dominated for 60 minutes,” Xavi added. “But that’s football, if you don’t score the second… We need five or six [chances] to score a goal. With three, they score two.

“Madrid have that to their game. We were not clinical enough. I think our plan worked well. Maybe I am exaggerating, they made us suffer late on, but I honestly think if anyone was going to win the game, it was going to be us.

“We deserved to win. We controlled Madrid well. They didn’t create a lot. One shot from outside the box and then [Luka] Modric does not control the ball at the end and Bellingham takes advantage of that to score.”

The defeat was Barça’s first in all competitions this season and their first at their temporary home in Montjuic, where they are playing while Camp Nou is redeveloped.

“This doesn’t end here,” Xavi said. “The message is that there is a long way to go. It’s only the 11th game of the season and we want to win LaLiga.

“Losing at home to Real Madrid is not satisfying, of course not. We are frustrated and annoyed because we deserved more, but we have to keep going. We played well and, while the result is bad, the performance was a step forward.”

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