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FC Barcelona vs Elche CF: Post-match statements

The team celebrating Depay's goal / FC Barcelona
The team celebrating Depay’s goal / FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona is back to its winning ways with a comfortable three-goal victory over Elche. Xavi, Araujo, and Depay spoke to the press along with the away team’s coach, Francisco Rodriguez Vilchez.

Even though the result says otherwise, Barça began slowly and was biding its time getting into scoring chances. Xavi and his team anticipated it and lined up accordingly:

“We expected to be individually marked, so we decided it was a good time to mix things up. Frenkie can escape press very well, and Kessie offers physicality.”

It all changed with Gonzalo Verdu sent off in the 14th minute. With Lewandowski being in a clear 1-on-1 situation with the away goalkeeper after Frenkie’s pass, the defender pulled him to the ground before he could get a touch of the ball. Francisco Rodriguez Vilchez had something to say about the situation:

“It was probably a just decision. But my problem was with Kessie not being sent off for his second slap in the face. It made me lose my cool and go off on the linesman. I should not have done that, and I have no problem apologizing for it.”

His loss of nerves resulted in the referee sending him off as well. Xavi commented on both issues:

“Honestly, I did not see what happened. The players told me it was not a card when we spoke in the dressing room. The referee also saw it that way, and I respect his decisions. They give, and sometimes they also take away from you. But I understand Francisco’s anger if he saw the situation differently.”

From this point forward, it was mostly smooth sailing for FC Barcelona. Although it seemed the players rushed their actions on the ball initially, Lewandowski’s goal calmed them down, and they established total control of what was happening on the pitch. Ronald Araujo was pleased with their performance:

“We are clear about what we had to improve from last season. Not conceding is the primary job because we have a lot of quality upfront. We just had to maintain the control and move the ball from side to side to look for gaps and not despair as we did against Rayo, which led us into pointless individual actions and bad decisions.”

From there on out, Depay scored a wonder goal before Lewandowski added another one of his. After that, Blaugrana proceeded to press on the opponent’s backline but did so calmly and prudently. Although nothing came of them, they managed to create some decent scoring chances. Memphis Depay commented on his futsal-like goal, which was also his first this season:

“You learn such things by playing in the street as I did. I am happy to score and help the team. I am glad I got my chance today because I know what I can offer. With my chances limited this year, I keep on working hard. By getting consistent minutes, my form will improve, no doubt about that.”

“We are on the right track, and I am happy about that. The loss against Bayern was hard, but our mindset must not change. Today we continued as we should, scored a couple of goals, and created even more chances. We are confident this is the right path.”

Araujo agreed on the last part:

“We played a good match in Munich, but sadly conceded twice. But we are back on track after today, and the feelings are good.”

Xavi had the most praise for Pedri but also found time to answer questions about Lewandowski, Balde, and Ansu Fati:

“I can only talk of Pedri in superlatives. He understands the game completely and is capable of doing anything. He is on the level of some of the best players who passed through Barça’s midfield in history. Having him guarantees us stability.”

Balde played a great match. I like his character.”

Lewandowski surprised me with his humility and how down-to-earth he is. I already knew of his other qualities.”

“I count on Ansu, and I talk to him regularly. I already said he was going to receive minutes this match. He took advantage of them and created two scoring chances. I do not doubt that he will be crucial to this team.”

Araujo also made headlines by jumping over Barça’s badge after trying to save the ball from going out of bounds:

“I am a cule, and I always try to avoid stepping on the badge when I can. It is a show of respect.”

To wrap it up, Xavi also addressed the upcoming international break and the fact that if Real Madrid fails to beat Atletico, FC Barcelona will take over the lead in Primera Division:

“It is going to help me disconnect. We have a very intense schedule right after these two weeks, with matches following each other every three days. I will watch the Madrid derby, but we have done our job and are heading into this international break confident we are on the right track.”