Xavi corrected in time. In less than six minutes, the Barça coach made three changes: Lewandowski for Ferran Torres, while Fermín and Lamine Yamal replaced Oriol Romeu and João Félix. And it was precisely the youth players, along with the Polish striker, who rescued Barcelona in Son Moix. In fact, the tying play was started by the winger so that after an invisible assist from Lewandowski (he let the ball pass), Fermín, 20, sealed his first goal in the League. “I’m happy… But we have to improve,” said the Barca youth player.
“I liked Fermín, especially in the preseason. He is capable, he is hungry, he has a goal, he shoots from outside the area, he is dynamic… He can be very good for us,” Xavi praised Fermín López. The energy of the young people was not enough. “In the last game we made a spectacular comeback, but it was a wake-up call. We have to keep an eye on ourselves,” Deco, Barça’s football director, had commented in the run-up to the duel against Mallorca. But like against Celta, Barça suffered again. “The game has been stuck for us from the beginning. We have suffered more setbacks than we wanted. We have had two games with a bit of a bad feeling and we have to improve it. We are giving too many facilities,” analyzed Oriol Romeu.
The rotations at the back – Araujo and Iñigo Martínez for Koundé and Christensen – penalized Barça, especially Ter Stegen. “Iñigo has been correct, good in cuts, he is a player who chooses the pass well, he gives us the left-footed profile that we didn’t have, he is going to help us,” defended Xavi. The German had fought for the Zamora Prize for nine seasons. He could not achieve it in Luis Enrique’s colorful Barcelona with the trident of Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar as an emblem, nor in Ernesto Valverde’s safe and balanced Barça. Of course, he did not do it with Ronald Koeman, much less with the team led by Quique Setién.
However, in a team with fewer stars, in a squad under construction under the command of Xavi, the goalkeeper managed to keep his long-awaited Zamora (18 goals in 37 games, 0.48 on average). “We must improve in defense. We cannot grant these gifts, it cannot happen to us. Last year we were very solid and now it is taking its toll on us not to be as solid. Today we have not been bad, but they are two specific errors that should not happen. Because of those errors we lost two points today,” said Xavi.
This campaign, Ter Stegen’s wall is losing strength, eight goals conceded in seven duels, an average of 1.14. To make matters worse, in Son Moix, the cameras pointed to the German in Mallorca’s first goal, as well as Araujo in Javier Aguirre’s second goal. “I think the problem has been that they have put us ahead due to our mistake. Then when we were better, another blow comes to us, another defensive error. We had clear chances, but we conceded too much, two glaring errors. We got a draw that was not enough for us,” said Xavi. Oriol Romeu went a little further.
“The fact that they counterattack us so easily makes us run many meters. We have to improve this because we need it,” concluded the Barça midfielder. Barça changed in time. Insufficient, in any case, for the comeback. The mistakes at the back punished Barça. And Xavi did not hide it: “They are inappropriate errors that should not happen, especially in this type of tight and intense match.”
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