News Live Scores
Barcelona

Xavi: Barcelona have 'lost model of play' after unconvincing Elche victory

11:01 GMT 19/12/2021
Xavi Hernández Barcelona
The Spaniard wasn't satisfied with his side's performance but did reserve praise for wonderkid Gavi

Xavi admits Barcelona have lost the club's "model of play" after their unconvincing victory over Elche.

Barca halted a three-match winless run by beating Elche 3-2 at Camp Nou on Saturday, thanks to goals from Ferran Jutlga Blanc, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez.

Gonzalez's winner came after the hosts had blown a two-goal lead, with Xavi left bemoaning his side's lack of positional sense in defence.

What has been said?

"We've lost [Barcelona's] model of play and we have to bring it back," the Blaugrana boss told his post-match press conference.

"I have not been here for six years and there are things that have surprised me tactically. I wasn't here so I don't know who's responsible for it, but it's making [the job] hard for us.

"The large majority [of players] don't understand positional play. There are mechanisms that I understood from the age of 11 and we have players here that haven't worked on them."

Barca are seventh in La Liga and three points behind fourth-place Rayo Vallecano with a game in hand as the battle for Champions League qualification begins to intensify.

Xavi added on the importance of the win: "We complicated things for ourselves. Elche survived on our errors and that cannot be the case. We have to learn and be more responsible.

"I was a little angry [after they equalised] because I wasn't imagining not winning the game. We deserved much more, but in the situation we're in these are three golden points."

Xavi hails Gavi

Xavi had his academy graduates to thank for Barca's seventh Liga victory of the season, with 17-year-old Gavi leading by example once again.

Xavi thinks Gavi's fearlessness can carry him right to the very top of the game, as long as he continues to put in the necessary work behind the scenes.

"You can only take you hat off for that performance from Gavi," he said. "It's spectacular how he plays. Along with Nico, Abde [Ezzalzouli], [Ronald] Araujo, [Alejandro] Balde, they're the future of the club.

"I played here when I was 18 and I was scared. These guys are bursting with personality. I'm delighted with this generation, Gavi is especially exciting.

"What's most surprising about Gavi is his age, he's 17. Look at how he's competing. Today he made the difference with a goal and an assist. I don't want to compare him with anyone, just make sure he doesn't put the brakes on because he has no ceiling."

Further reading