Pedri credits Xavi Hernandez tactical shift for Barcelona winner at Atletico Madrid

Barcelona are celebrating a three-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table, following a significant victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday night. The game decided by a single goal, according to Pedri, it was Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez who played a major role in it.

The Blaugrana spent much of the game hanging onto their lead, but dominated the opening 30 minutes, where the goal came. Picking up the ball in the final third, Pedri glided through two challenges, before laying the ball right to Gavi, and then onto Ousmane Dembele to apply the finishing touch.

“Xavi is responsible for the goal today,” Pedri told Sport after the match.

“He always tells me to get more into the box and shoot, to take risks, to dare one-on-one… I feel more and more comfortable up top, so Xavi is to blame for today’s goal.”

Such is his quality, Pedri often adapts to the game and Barcelona’s needs, dropping deeper in order to provide more control if necessary. However Xavi has shown a clear preference for using Pedri for the final or penultimate pass in Barcelona’s moves.

“I slipped through, saw space, divided and found Gavi, who used his body in and gave it to Dembele to score.”

“I’m closer to the area and it’s more comfortable to create from there, plus the team has superiority in the middle.”

Equally, Barcelona had to rely on a stoppage time goal-line clearance from Ronald Araujo to hang on, but without Robert Lewandowski, it will have pleased Xavi to see Pedri stepping up. Outside of the Polish striker, he may well be Barcelona’s most differential player.

Tags Barcelona Pedri Xavi Hernandez
La Liga - Club News