In the pre-match press conference before the UCL showdown with Chelsea, the Italian tactician Carlo Ancelotti tackled Barcelona coach Xavi’s concerns about Getafe’s pitch and afternoon game time, originating from their grueling 0-0 draw.
When probed on the topic, Ancelotti emphasized that the ever-changing football fixture list demands versatility, requiring teams to “play at different times” and maintain a constant state of adaptability and readiness. “You have to be prepared to play in any situation”, he added.
Following the goalless draw against the Getafe, Xavi voiced his concerns over the below-par pitch conditions at Coliseum Alfonso Pérez and the uncomfortable matchday timing. He stated that his players are more acclimated to playing under nocturnal conditions and this unfamiliar change played a part in the team’s display.
Carlo Ancelloti had no clear sympathy towards the rival manager and insisted on the team’s responsibility to keep playing football as it is the most important thing. He explained, “For us, the important thing is to play. I think there are teams more used to playing in the afternoon than at night, but there is a calendar that requires you to play at different times and you always have to be prepared.“
Barcelona have been a dominant force in La Liga this season, currently 11 points clear of arch-rivals Real Madrid. Despite their league-leader status, they faced challenges vs Getafe. Was it down to the imperfect pitch or due to match timing? It’s hard to tell and despite their best efforts, the Blaugrana couldn’t break the opposition’s defense. The club returns to action on 23rd April vs third-place Atletico Madrid and will be hoping to continue their title charge in a dominant fashion.