Xavi Hernández’s press conferences at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez are usually much more interesting than the match played before by Getafe and Barça. Last season he alluded to the field — “too dry” — and the sun — “we are not used to it” — to justify the 0-0. The coach’s arguments caused so many jokes that they fueled the preview of the last Barça visit that also ended in a goalless draw after a match governed by the Bordalás military manu. Xavi was once again the protagonist due to his manifestations and for being expelled by Soto Grado. The difference with respect to last year is that his complaints were more than reasonable at the end of the most insufferable and long game of the last ones in memory in the League.
The coach explained himself very well when he was required by the red card received and by the performance of a very permissive referee with the harshness of Getafe and the interventionism of Bordalás. And he also correctly argued his surprise for the penalty Araujo was not called for -Soto Grado alleged Gavi’s previous handball- and for the referee’s behavior because both decisions went in the opposite direction to the guidelines announced in a previous meeting with the referees: fouls For hands they would only be penalized if they were very clear, there would be more understanding towards the technicians and visits to the VAR would be restricted. “None of that happened,” said the coach, later describing the penalty as “invented” in an expression used last year by Ancelotti.
“It has been a very great injustice and we do not have to shut up because the whole world has seen it. If this is the Liga product, if it is what we want to sell, for me it is an absolute shame (…) This has not been a football match”, concluded Xavi, after focusing his complaint on the effective playing time -56m- in a match of 115m and 54s. “We are making a fool of ourselves; It has not been a match, ”he insisted in his desire to defend that it is not enough to extend the matches but that it is about ensuring that real time (90m) is met. Bordalás’s reply fueled the controversy even more: “It is a way of justifying that he did not achieve the three points with a squad. I don’t think Xavi is doing the League a favour”.
Bordalás and Xavi defend two opposing football ideas and have had them for a long time every time they come across each other, as happened in Getafe. The host’s greeting was clear-sighted: “The famous tiki taka went down in history.” While the visitor was also clairvoyant: “We expect a tough opponent”, announced Xavi, the same one who after the game admitted that his team had to improve to progress in the League. Objectively, however, the game and its development was much more generous with Getafe than with Barça because the game was constantly interrupted and tricked with wasting time, obstructions, blockages, simulations and aspects of anti-play due to the impunity of Soto Grande .
The referee was condescending to Getafe’s abrasive football, with and without the ball, since his criteria with fouls and cards was equally partisan if one takes into account that Damián was booked in the 82nd minute after being repetitive in tackling Lewandowski and Gundogan. The referee was complicit in Getafe’s way of acting when the regulations do not speak of styles but of rules that are sometimes applied more in the minutes than on the field, as was noted in the Coliseum. The referee decides which game is played and Getafe’s was especially contrary to the interests of both the League and the Federation. The tournament has just started and the teams are already there with the usual ones due to referee interpretations and VAR. Matter to argue and not to sell a product, as Xavi would say, very accurate in his diagnosis: it is not about discussing how to play but about playing real time, something that did not happen in Getafe according to Barça: the game was standing 60.43m.
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