Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was in great form after seeing his team come from behind to win a rollercoaster La Liga match against Levante 3-2 on Sunday, April 10.
The Catalan giants secured all three points thanks to a stoppage-time winner from substitute Luuk de Jong to extend the team’s current unbeaten run to 15 matches.
Xavi was spotted after the game coming down off the team bus to greet two young Barcelona supporters in what was clearly an emotional moment for the duo. The manager took time out to pose for photographs before returning to the team bus.
Sunday’s win continues the team’s impressive form under Xavi and sees Barca return to second place in La Liga with just eight games left to play. The Catalan giants are in Europa League action next with a quarter-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, April 14.
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Barcelona Make History
Barcelona actually made history with their victory over Levante. The Catalans conceded three penalties during the 90 minutes but still emerged victorious. According to Mister Chip, they are the first team in La Liga history to manage such a feat.
Jose Luis Morales opened the scoring for the hosts from the penalty spot before Marc-Andre ter Stegen prevented Roger Marti from making it 2-0 by saving his spot-kick.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then headed Barca level with his 10th goal in just 14 games for the Catalans. Substitutes Pedri and Gavi went on to combine to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
Another penalty kick saw Levante draw level in the 84th minute before substitute De Jong headed home a winner in the dying seconds of stoppage time to seal a chaotic win.
Xavi Reflects on ‘Three Golden Points’
Xavi spoke about his team’s victory fter the final whistle and admitted his players had not been at their best. However, the coach made it clear just how vital the win is for his team, as reported by Sport.
“We put in a huge effort, we didn’t play well in the first half though. We have to be self-critical. We were better in the second half and we have Luuk and ter Stegen making the difference,” he said. “Three golden points to stay in the fight, we’re still second and we can’t slip up. Without playing well, we won.”
Barcelona struggled against Levante’s high press, particularly in the first half, but were helped by the coach’s substitutions after the break. Xavi also opened up on his team’s problems and hailed their ability to grind out the three points.
“They press well high. It was hard because they play man for man. We had worked on it and had solutions but they didn’t come off,” he added. “In the second half, with the ball is when we have to have more patience. I am satisfied, we have to improve but we competed well. It’s a winning mentality, believing until the end.”
Barcelona face another tricky test next against Eintracht Frankfurt with a place in the Europa League semi-finals up for grabs. The tie is level at 1-1 after the first leg in Germany but Barca do home advantage for the return.