Barcelona faced a tricky shuffle of the pack immediately following the international break when they traveled to Estadi de Son Moix to face Mallorca.
The mid-table side was clearly well-prepared for whatever Barça threw at them, as they had zero big chances.
Unfortunately for them, Robert Lewandowski’s individual brilliance was enough to seal the three points.
Following the game, Xavi reflected on the victory, implying that patience was the key to their victory.
“We were very patient and calm; it’s always difficult to be patient when there’s no room; you have to be perfect.”
“It was difficult for us to get three points because we played the game that Mallorca wanted in the second half, which we must not allow.” In those circumstances, we must aim for the second goal,” Xavi added.
Tonight’s game featured two key standout players, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Lewandowski, who made the difference on both ends of the field. While the latter put Barça in the lead, the former kept it there.
“It would be irresponsible to explain everything to ter Stegen and Lewandowski.” There are other factors that influence a game, but it is clear that they have made a difference. When asked if the team was ‘overlying’ on Marc [ter Stegen], Xavi said, “Marc [ter Stegen] is in spectacular form.”
“Lewandowski is a premier player and a world-class scorer.” “Perhaps the best striker in the world,” he said of the Pole.
While there was only one goal in the game, there were several intriguing elements, including Xavi’s choice to deploy Alejandro Balde at right-back. “He’s [Balde] already played on the right, he’s very good positionally,” Xavi explained of his decision.
He also praised the other defenders, noting that Barcelona finished the game with a clean sheet. “The defensive line was outstanding. Jordi, Pique, and Christensen were all excellent.”
Pique’s performance is deserving of applause. He was flawless aerially against a team that relies heavily on their 6’4′′ striker Vedat Muriqi. Xavi did not say whether or not the veteran would play against Inter Milan in midweek.
“He could [begin].” We have a strong squad with many talented players.”
“We play every three days.” “I’ve already told the players that they will all get minutes and that they must all be prepared,” Xavi added.
With this victory, Xavi now has the longest unbeaten away streak in La Liga history – 18 games without a defeat. He was asked to comment on that as well, but he refused, saying:
“If you set records but don’t win titles, those records are meaningless.” Good results away from home indicated that we are working hard, but it doesn’t matter if we don’t win titles.”
Finally, Xavi praised Ansu Fati for playing much better tonight than in previous games.
“Ansu has been excellent; I have seen him at his best.” These two weeks have been extremely beneficial to him, and he has performed admirably in training. “Fati has proposed to be significant, and I am confident that he will be,” Xavi said.
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