Barcelona manager Xavi was not happy with his player after seeing his team drop points by conceding a late equalizer at Granada in La Liga on Saturday, January 8.
Luuk de Jong’s goal had put Barcelona ahead in the second half, but the visitors were reduced to 10 men when 17-year-old midfielder Gavi was sent off after picking up two yellow cards.
Granada then took full advantage and equalized in the 90th minute to snatch a vital point, leaving Xavi to reflect on his team’s inability to hold on to the win, as reported by Diario Sport.
“In the first half we lacked depth, then the goal came, which is the most difficult thing, and then it was the same as in Pamplona [against Osasuna]. The situation required patience, having the ball and playing in the opposite half, but we have lost silly balls. We have to be self-critical. They have been our mistakes. Before the sending off we had to have control and do more things to win. We have to be self-critical and grow. These are things that we do training, but it is hard for us to do them in games.”
The draw means Barcelona miss the chance to move into the top four of La Liga and instead remain in sixth place, outside of the Champions League qualification spots after 20 games.
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Busquets: Gavi Sending Off Changed the Game
Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets also offered his thoughts after the match and said he felt the red card for Gavi changed the game. The 17-year-old was handed his marching orders in the 79th minute with what was his first senior red card.
Busquets also said his team needed to be more patient in possession of the ball in the closing stages after seeing victory snatched away right at the death, as reported by Sport.
“We complicated things with the red card, which completely changed the game and cost us the possession. In fact, in the move before the goal we only had nine men because Dani (Alves) was off the pitch. It’s a shame,” he said. “We have to have more patience and more possession to wear (the opposition) down. They wanted the game to be box to box because they were losing.”
Gavi’s red card means the midfielder has the dubious honor of becoming the second youngest player to be sent off in La Liga in the 21st century, after Marc Muniesa, according to Opta.
Barcelona Confirm Eric Garcia Injury
There was also more bad news for Barcelona on the injury front at Granada. Center-back Eric Garcia was forced off in the second half with a problem and is now set for a spell on the sidelines.
Barca have confirmed Garcia has picked up a hamstring problem and will now undergo further tests to determine the severity of the injury.
Injuries have been a real problem for Barcelona in 2021-22, and Garcia’s comes at a bad time with fellow center-back Ronald Araujo also out. The Uruguay international has undergone surgery on a hand injury and missed the trip to Granada.
Barcelona may now have to cope without both defenders for the Spanish Super Cup clash against Real Madrid next time out, leaving Xavi to choose from Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, and Oscar Minguez in central defense.