Barcelona coach assesses the Real Madrid-Almeria controversy


BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 28: Xavi, Head Coach of FC Barcelona, arrives at the stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League match between FC Barcelona and FC Porto at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on November 28, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by Aitor Alcalde – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

La Liga is beginning to take its final shape, and FC Barcelona hope to alter that pattern. The Blaugranes are among the teams hoping to lift the title at the end of the season, irrespective of the difficulty. However, for Barcelona to succeed, others must also make some tumbles from time to time.

Yet, that is where it almost feels like it becomes impossible for Barcelona to win at all. While other sides lose and get bruised occasionally, there is one that seems to have all the forces of nature acting in their favor. That one team, undeniably, is none other than Real Madrid.

While Barcelona and Real Madrid already have their tensions to worry about, the ongoing controversy does not help matters at all. As highlighted by Mundo Deportivo, the latest outing between Los Blancos and bottom-placed Almeria generated a lot of negative chatter.

By giving the Merengues a rather soft penalty, disallowing a beautifully constructed Almeria goal, and even allowing Vinicius Jr to score with his arm, it became clear where the ‘predetermined’ clash was supposed to find an ending.

After that game ended as a 3-2 victory for Real Madrid, one that began as a 2-0 loss, a lot of pressure was piled onto Barça. Now, following a victory over Real Betis, even Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was asked to give his own two cents on the subject:

“I stick with a reflection from Garitano (Almería’s coach) and Alfredo Relaño, a very good journalist. It’s going to be very difficult to win this league. I already said it in Getafe. I saw things that didn’t add up. We have to keep winning, but there are things we don’t control. Everyone saw it today.”

The Barcelona coach even made sure to recount some not-so-fond memories to keep his criticism backed up. Two occasions in particular that the Barça coach highlighted were the Getafe game and the Granada encounter. Both, as per Xavi, incidents could have been super beneficial had they been monitored correctly by VAR:

“I remember the penalty against Getafe, the blatant one on Raphinha, and the goal against Granada. We would already have six more points. These are not excuses; these are realities. These are situations in the 94th minute that go against us, but we have to keep working. This is the path.”

Barcelona now look ahead to their clash against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Ray. Scheduled for the 24th of January, it will be another game that tests Barcelona to the maximum. In La Liga, however, the gap still remains at 7 between the two El Clasico rivals.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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