After Barcelona’s 1-0 victory over Athletic Club on Sunday night, Manager Xavi insisted that his team needed to be more clinical in front of goal.
Raphinha’s goal in stoppage time of the first half proved to be the deciding factor between the two teams; Athletic had an Iker Muniain goal disallowed for handball.
The outcome kept Barcelona nine points ahead of Real Madrid in La Liga.
That was Barcelona’s eighth 1-0 victory of the season, and despite leaving San Mames with all three points, Xavi urged his team to show greater precision. Barcelona has only given up eight goals in 25 league games.
“We have been at a good level for 75 minutes although we have to attack better. It was a difficult course and in San Mamés you end up suffering,” the boss said.
“It is a golden victory for us and we take three very important points. But we have to get better at the game.”
“We have had two or three clear chances in the second half: from Ansu, from Balde for not choosing well, from Lewandowski with a header.”
“We have to improve in that aspect, be calmer and more patient and play more in the opposite field. Defensive solvency must also be valued, but it is true that we have to improve in the opposite field.”
Xavi also expressed his hope that Sergio Busquets will prolong his career at Camp Nou, saying the veteran midfielder is still ‘giving a lot’ to Barcelona while adding that his performance level is one of the ‘surprises of the season’.
Barcelona next face Real Madrid in a potential title deciding Clasico, with Xavi’s side having home advantage in addition to bragging rights – they recently beat Carlo Ancelotti’s side 1-0 on their own patch in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.
The second leg takes place on April 5, with the eventual winner going on to face either Athletic Club or Osasuna in the final.
The veteran midfielder is still “providing a lot” to Barcelona, according to Xavi, who added that his performance level is one of the “surprises of the season.” Xavi also voiced his hope that Sergio Busquets will continue to play at Camp Nou.
On April 5th, Barcelona will then meet Carlo Ancelotti’s team after recently defeating them 1-0 at home in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.
Xavi’s Barcelona team has home advantage and bragging rights in what could be the title-deciding Clasico with the victor advancing to the final to play either Athletic Club or Osasuna.
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