Barcelona stars cast doubts on Xavi Hernandez statements following Porto win

Barcelona secured a valuable three points away to Porto in their second Champions League group game, putting them in control with a three-point gap to their nearest rivals. Manager Xavi Hernandez was content with the three points, even if admitting that the performance wasn’t the best, but stated that Barcelona had rid themselves of their mental ghosts in Europe. Some of the Barcelona dressing room didn’t seem quite so convinced.

“We have to let go of the ghosts,” Marc-Andre ter Stegen told Sport, implying they are still there.

“There is no need to put pressure on ourselves. We have to focus on doing our own thing, we have a different team [to before], we played a more or less good game, above all we were good in defence although we had some issues at the end.”

Ter Stegen was more concerned about the mentally than the performance, but Jules Kounde was the other way around.

“We have suffered too much and we have not been able to apply the game plan we had. They frustrated us a lot with their pressing and we have not been able to bring the ball out well, especially in the first half, but when we were able to create triangles, we hurt them and that’s how the winning goal came.”

“The Champions League is a very difficult competition and it is an important result, knowing that we have to improve.”

While Barcelona pick up results, the emergency lights will not come on, but the alarm bells should no doubt be ringing for Xavi. Victories like those against Porto are important for building resilience and character, provided they are not the norm. Whether they are or not will likely only be proven in the knockout stages, with Porto away being by far their most difficult fixture in the group stage.

Tags Barcelona Champions League Jules Kounde Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Xavi Hernandez
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