Knockouts – A distant dream now?

Following a marginal 1-0 loss to the Nerazzuri, there has been a lot of negativity surrounding Xavi’s camp. Some questionable tactical decisions and refereeing howlers stole the limelight as Barcelona find themselves in an “All or nothing” situation yet again.

Knockouts – A distant dream now?

The loss pushed Barcelona to the 3rd spot in the group now, and with 3 matches remaining, it’s necessary for Barcelona to defeat Inter and Viktoria Plzen at least by as big a margin as possible while playing against Bayern at Home in a struggle to gather points from there.

Xavi made some questionable decisions like swapping Raphinha to the left wing today where he wasn’t able to function that well which harmed the overall left flank dynamism causing stagnation in the buildup and lots of sideways passing.

Also, Gavi against a low block side doesn’t work that well since they sit deep and we need more men who attack the defensive line instead of more physical and pressing players.

Nonetheless, the refereeing was nothing less of a disappointment. A clear penalty due to the handball of The Internazionale player Denzel Dumfries, which was not considered even worth a check by the VAR officials, which again raises the question- Does VAR do anything that it promised to?

Xavi exclaims his frustration in the post-match press conference, and understandably so, although he should understand that this was not the correct approach to this game, and he has a week to make amends and he hopefully realizes it and makes the changes accordingly – before it’s too little too late.

Xavi on Referee’s decisions:

“I’m pissed off. I asked the referee to explain his decisions after the match and he refused. The referees should come out and explain their decisions because we don’t understand anything.”

“What we lived today is injustice. The referee left and said nothing. I’m outraged. We don’t understand. That is the word, outraged.”

Xavi on Pedri’s disallowed goal:

“They told me that Pedri’s goal should have counted. It is a legal goal. In Pedri’s goal, after Ansu accidentally touches it, the rule says that a new play starts from that moment. So it should be considered a legal goal.”

Xavi on his team’s performance:

“In the first half, we lacked too much rhythm. We have to criticize ourselves, beyond the referee’s calls. They defended very well. We could not play well from the middle. We have to play and compete better.”

“I don’t know if this is the worst match of the season. We tried attacking from inside, from outside, with Robert on 1v1… It was complicated. Inter closed well and scored a goal from outside the box which we did not defend well.”

Xavi on the qualification scenario:

“I’m worried regarding the points table. We’re in a very difficult and complicated situation. We have three finals remaining to try and qualify. We have three finals, and two of them are at home.”

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