Barcelona Press conferences

de Jong: “We didn’t play according to our standards”

Frenkie De Jong during the LaLiga match between F C Barcelona and Almería/ F C BARCELONA

Barça missed out on moving 10 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid after suffering a shock defeat to Almería in La Liga. Eric Garcia, Xavi, de Jong, and ter Stegen spoke to the press after the game, where they discussed the result, the mindset, among other things.

Barça finally see their domestic undefeated streak come to an end after a surprise 1-0 loss against Almería. After suffering consecutive defeats, it will be a challenge for the team to bounce back from consecutive defeats and get back to winning ways and strengthen their position in the league standings.

This is what Eric Garcia had to say:

On the performance in the first half:

“In the first half, we didn’t have the rhythm or the intensity to match Almería. We didn’t come out with the required mentality and that’s what Xavi told us at half-time: if we were intense enough, things would be easier.”

On the performance after the break:

“In the second half, we tried to put in the crosses, but they gathered a lot of players in defense and it was almost impossible to score. They let us cross, but they had a lot of people defending. Almería has excellent players, but we should have done better.”

On the result:

“It’s a shame because we knew we could have extended our lead over Madrid. We’re coming off two straight defeats, but we must keep going.”

 This is what Xavi had to say :

On the result:

“We have to apologize to the fans. We made a mistake today. I didn’t understand our performance in the first half. Perhaps we have felt the fatigue and the shock of the Europa League elimination. But if we want to win the league, we must improve on a lot of things.”

On the reason for defeat :

“We have to show more desire, more enthusiasm. It was the perfect opportunity to extend our lead. The first half was crucial. We made a mistake and for that, we have to apologize to the fans. We have to be self-critical. We have a good lead in the league because we have done well so far, but we must keep going.”

On the first half :

“Almería put in a lot of work and intensity that we could not match. We lacked the passion that was needed. They have dominated but we have not been able to make our mark in the first half. I am disappointed about the first half, not about the second because we have put in the work and the passion.”

On his suspension:

“It was my fault to receive the cards because I was complaining and protesting when I shouldn’t have. But this is what yellow cards are for.”

On the future:

“We will bounce back and we will compete. People believe that we are going to win the league and we can’t take their hopes for granted. We’re competing against Real Madrid, current champions of the league and the Champions League, and it’s going to be difficult for us. We have to add more intensity, more rhythm, which we lacked in the first half.”

On Pablo Torre:

“Pablo is an alternative, just like Ángel Alarcón. We changed the system to 3-4-3 and put Ronald up front. We tried every possible way, but it just didn’t work out for us.”

This is what de Jong had to say:

On the result:

“We are very disappointed. We had the opportunity to go ten points ahead. We didn’t expect to lose here. Almería defended very well, but we should have done better.”

On winning the league :

“La Liga is an important tournament and every game is important. We didn’t play according to our standards. We have to improve and move on from here.”

This is what ter Stegen had to say :

On the result :

“We could have done more in the first half. This is like a warning to the whole team. We should have done our job but we failed. We worked hard in the second half but it wasn’t enough. They defended very well and made it hard for us to take control of the game.”

On learning from the defeat:

“A defeat always hurts, but we will calm down, recharge our batteries and look forward. It’s time to do some self-criticism and see where we can improve. We did not feel relaxed after Madrid’s result. It motivated us to extend our gap over them.”