Reaction from the Mendizorrotza Stadium in Vitoria-Gasteiz on Sunday after Frenkie de Jong’s late strike gave Barcelona a 1-0 win at relegation strugglers Alaves in La Liga.
Despite the visitors dominating posession and creating a series of chances over the course of the game, it seemed that Alaves would hang on for a draw, but Ferran Torres’ assist allowed de Jong to score the winner in the 87th minute and Barcelona pocketed the points.
“Well, yes, but for example, against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, we were satisfied, but still lost the game, that’s based on how well we played, but today we didn’t play at our best, but we got the three points against a nearly a frozen ground. And I think only Real Madrid has won here. And that was back in the summer. So we’ve seen that in other games that everyone is struggling to win at the moment. But we have to create more chances. You have to read the game better. And I don’t think we’ve hardly had any more days to prepare for any games. But we now have two weeks to understand our game and work well for our next match and hope that our players understand what they need to do”.
“We need to keep a calm head and know when to read the game. But also the players are at a low moment in confidence and we have to improve that. We celebrated the victory tonight, it’s something very big and that says a lot”.
But it did go some way to lift the disappointment of being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao last Thursday and their exit from the Spanish Super Cup at the hands of arch rivals Real the week before.
“The players have been heavily criticised and today, for example, Jordi Alba had a very good game and (Sergio) Busquets and (Gerard) Pique led the team. Frenkie, he had a very good game. These are players who are being criticised and it’s not easy to play for Barca. And I think the shirt for weighs 20 kilos more than any other. And that’s why we have to be together and we know it’s going to be tough, but we have to stay united. But I said it before I said that the Sun is slowly starting to come out, even though it was a very cold night here.”
Alaves remain 19th and have now not won in ten games in the Spanish top flight – equalling a grim club record.