Xavi on super Ferran Torres, 'criticised' Sergi Roberto & brilliant first half

Xavi on super Ferran Torres, 'criticised' Sergi Roberto & brilliant first half

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The Barcelona coach spoke to the media after the 2-0 win over Cadiz

Xavi Hernández was very satisfied with Barcelona's performance and result against Cádiz on Sunday. The 2-0 victory was essential following Real Madrid's win over Osasuna and also to go into Thursday's match against Manchester United with confidence. The Blaugrana coach, however, did not hide the fact that in the second half the team was unable to maintain the good tone of the first half, which he described as "excellent."

"It was a good first half, with dominance, intensity... We didn't like the second half as much because we slowed down the pace, but we've been playing a lot of games and fatigue sets in", he commented. "I like the dynamic we're in, we've kept a clean sheet and we're still eight points clear."

Xavi was pleased because he was able to make rotations and the less regular players were at a good level.

"They've been very good, I'm happy with the rotations and because people have taken advantage of their opportunities," he added, with a special reference to Ferran Torres, the player of the match: "He has taken a step forward."  

Ferran played on the right flank and was a constant headache for Cadiz. Xavi joked that all his wide players prefer to play on that flank. "We have a mess out there. The best thing is that we have alternatives because Ousmane (Dembele), Rafa (Raphinha) can also play on the left. And Ferran."

Xavi also had words of praise for Sergi Roberto, scorer of the first goal, and confirmed that he had replaced Frenkie de Jong and Lewandowski more because of the accumulation of minutes they have been playing than with Thursday's clash at Old Trafford in mind.

"Pedri went down the other day and no more players can go down. They are two of the players who have been playing the most minutes," he said.

On Roberto, he added: "Sergi always performs in different positions. The criticism of him has been really unfair, among the worst I have seen in my career.

"This is a player who's come through at the club. He performs wherever he plays, he never complains, he's a tremendous captain, selfless, loves the club... I have blind faith in him."  

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