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“Xavi’s Post-Match Breakdown: Bellingham, Vinicius, Gavi, and Fermin in the Spotlight After Barcelona’s 1-2 Loss to Real Madrid”

Barcelona were missing half of their starting outfield XI for the first El Clasico of the season, with Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and Jules Kounde just making it onto the bench in time.

Despite this, Xavi effectively coached the squad, and all indicators pointed to a Barcelona victory when the scoreboard read 1-0 in the 68th minute. The Catalans were in cruise control after Ilkay Gundogan scored.

That is when things went south and Jude Bellingham found the net with a screamer before the team lost all control. Disaster struck in the 91st minute once again as the Englishman was not tracked into the box, eventually scoring from two yards out.

“We need five or six chances to score a goal, while Real Madrid scored two goals in two and a half chances. Honestly, I think we deserved to win, but this is what happens when you miss chances against Real Madrid,” Xavi admitted after the defeat, as relayed by MARCA.

Maybe I am exaggerating a little at first, but I think we deserved the win. We should have scored the second, but if you don’t Real Madrid will kill you.”

“We did not lose because of the referee, we lost because we were not efficient,” he concluded.

There was a moment in the first half when Vinicius went down after a challenge by Ronald Araujo, before getting up and having an interaction with Xavi. The coach was asked about what they talked about.

“I respect and admire Vinicius. I told him, it was not a foul, and I caressed him.”

Xavi was also asked if he had any advice for Vinicius, to which he replied, “No, I am not his coach. It was a funny moment between him and I. There was no tension.”

Gavi was one of the best players on the pitch, putting in an absolute monster shift offensively and defensively.

Xavi explained his role, saying, “Gavi had a defensive role to recover the ball, and play aggressively. He controlled Madrid very well.”

“He was sensational. He played a great game. He is the soul of the team. Today, he played more as a pivot and did very well. He gives us intensity that is fundamental in this team.”

Fermin Lopez was another youngster part of the starting lineup today, who put in a rather impressive shift. He came close to scoring, hitting the post, and also created a wonderful chance for Inigo Martinez, who also headed his shot onto the woodwork.

“Fermin is an exceptional player that can be at Barcelona for many years to come,” he said about the young Spaniard.

The Barcelona coach also talked about a controversial refereeing incident in the first half when Araujo was brought down in the box by Aurelien Tchouameni during a corner.

“The players in the dressing room are talking about a potential penalty. I don’t know, I did not see it. It’s not important,” he said.

“We did not lose because of that. We lost because we were not efficient.”

“Perhaps fatigue affected us in the second half. We started playing well, applying high pressure, controlling the game, getting chances. It’s unfortunate,” Xavi explained the dip in performance in the second half, similar to the game vs Shakhtar.

Naturally, Xavi was asked about Jude Bellingham, who is in the form of his life, having scored ten goals already in the league this season, including two today in his first ever Clasico performance.

“Bellingham is a great footballer, of course, and he made the difference. In the second goal, he runs late into the box, and we had talked about that play before the match. It’s our mistake while defending.”

Eventually, he said, “Last year we lost the first Clasico at the Bernabeu and we were three points away. This time, four points.”

“This is only round 11 of La Liga. We must be patient and continue working. The team played well,” Xavi concluded.

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