Xavi praises the contribution Barcelona’s youngsters are making: “Their effort is extraordinary”

Barcelona travelled to Pamplona this afternoon to lock horns with Osasuna at El Sadar in La Liga. It was always going to be a tricky fixture – it’s never easy going to El Sadar – and so it proved to be. A thrilling, event-filled encounter finished up 2-2.

Barcelona took the lead in the 12th minute, with two of the brightest prospects at the club combining to devastating effect. Gavi picked out Nico inside the penalty area with an incisive pass and the Galician finished coolly to make it 1-0. Just two minutes later, however, Osasuna were level. David Garcia scored a header after a set piece was floated in from the right side.

Barcelona then regained the lead in the 49th minute through Ez Abde, their most dangerous player. Barcelona broke like lightning after an Osasuna attack, with the ball eventually falling to the teenager at the back post. He made no mistake with the finish.

The game wasn’t done yet, however, and substitute Chimy Avila equalised for Osasuna in the 87th minute. The ball fell to him at the edge of the box and the Argentine finished with conviction past Marc-Andre ter Stegen into the bottom corner of the net.

“A draw isn’t enough,” Xavi said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “We competed well. At 2-1 we should have kept the ball but we didn’t. We’ve suffered a lot. Too much. We were unable to play calmly in the opposition half. We haven’t succeeded. We couldn’t overcame the negative dynamics within which we’re immersed. A draw isn’t enough.

“We have the contributions of the youngsters. They’re supporting the team in these difficult moments. Their effort is extraordinary. The difference these youngsters are making is hard to digest. We have to continue believing, but it’s going to be tough to change this dynamic. Let a favourable result come. We had the victory and we allowed it to escape us.

“The goal is to be among the top four and try to sneak into the fight for the league title. Why not? It’s going to be difficult but we have to keep believing.”

Tags Barcelona La Liga Osasuna Xavi