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BARCELONA

Xavi post-game press conference after Barcelona’s win over Atlético Madrid

The Catalan coach spoke after Barcelona beat Atlético Madrid thanks to a goal from João Félix.

The Catalan coach spoke after Barcelona beat Atlético Madrid thanks to a goal from João Félix.
LLUIS GENEAFP

Barcelona overcame Atlético Madrid 1-0 at Montjuïc thanks to a first-half goal from João Félix. The home side pushed their opponents back in the opening 45 minutes, with Simeone’s side unable to threaten their opponents until after the break, when the Argentine coach made 3 changes.

The second half was a different story: with Barcelona tiring, Atlético pushed on and began to cause trouble for Xavi’s side. However, they never, apart from a Memphis free-kick saved by Iñaki Peña, managed to cause a serious goal threat that could have turned the result around, and Barcelona finished the game with all three points.

After the final whistle, the Barça coach spoke to the media where he expressed his delight in the turnaround that his side have undergone, as well as the fantastic form of his Portuguese attacker, João Félix.

Why has everything flowed so well?

Because the players have stepped up. On Tuesday we beat Porto and that was good. There are moments in the season when you’re not doing well, yet today we were excellent. The ball circulation was good, the players understood each other well, we were good in the counter-press. We rediscovered our game, I am very happy. The match was very complete and I hope we find the consistency to always play this way in matches.

Can it be a turning point?

We want to believe that today was an important day. I think the only thing missing was efficiency because we could have scored more goals. I think the midfielders found the right gear. In short, I really liked the team and I have a very good feeling after the performance today.

João Félix's chipped goal was the difference between Barcelona and Atlético in LaLiga on match day 15.
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João Félix's chipped goal was the difference between Barcelona and Atlético in LaLiga on match day 15.GORKA LEIZADiarioAS

What did you think of João Félix?

Well, he made the difference and gave his all; he has a good understanding with Cancelo. I’m very happy because I see him happy and he made a difference. Sometimes, extra-motivation speeds you up. But I think he played a very intelligent game... We are very happy [with Félix]. He’s working very well. He gives us zero problems at all, he’s a great player to have. I’m delighted to have João Félix.

You seem very satisfied...

The team has personality. Atlético pressed us in the second half, but we saw the most complete match of the season. It’s a sign that we grow in big matches. We must always demand to ourselves that we play like we did today.

João Félix positive about Atlético teammates

It’s just been another week for me, said João Félix when asked how he dealt with the pressure of preparing to face his former team, “not to sound arrogant or anything but every week someone’s talking about me. I’m just calm and I try to get on with my job without thinking about it. I try to get better every day and enjoy myself. I’m very grateful.”

The celebration was a relief for everything I went through last summer”, he continued, “only those close to me know what it was like. It was a relief for my family as well.”

When questioned about his relationship with his opponents on the day, the Portuguese was positive, saying that “I get on well with all the [Atlético] players and hope it goes well for them. I’ve spent more time with them than with my family, I hope they do well, just not against us!

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