Mon 13 March 2023 | 8:58

Xavi 'surprised and saddened' by chants calling for Barcelona's relegation at San Memes

Barcelona manager Xavi says they earned a "golden victory" against Athletic Bilbao ahead of next weekend's Clasico.



Athletic Bilbao

away from home in La Liga on Sunday thanks to Raphinha’s goal. They are nine points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table.

After the game,


said his team earned three very important points against Ernesto Valverde’s side in San Mames.

"The same thing has happened to us again,"

Xavi told reporters.

"We have been at a good level for 75 minutes, although we have to attack better.

"It was a difficult game. In San Mames you end up suffering, and that's what happened. It's a golden victory for us and we take three very important points.

"We maintained the nine-point lead, and we go into the Clasico with confidence.

"But we have to get better offensively. We had two or three clear chances in the second half: from Ansu [Fati]; from [Alejandro] Balde, who didn't choose well; from [Robert] Lewandowski with a header.

"We have to improve in that aspect, be calmer and more patient and play more in the attacking half. Defensive solidity must also be valued, but it's true that we have to improve in the attack."

Barcelona is set to face a public prosecutors investigation over the ongoing Negreira Case. Spanish prosecutors on Friday charged Barcelona with corruption over payments the club made to a former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee through a company owned by him.

Athletic fans chanted for Barcelona to be demoted to the Segunda and jeered their players on Sunday.

Xavi admitted he was surprised by Athletic fan's reaction and it saddened him.

"I am surprised by the hostile atmosphere of San Mames and it saddens me,

" he said.

"Judging prematurely [before a trial] is not good for society.

"Everyone is free. I respect opinions. But we are being judged prematurely, and it saddens me.

"I have nothing more to add. We haven't talked about it in the locker room.

"Those things are for the club [to deal with]. We focus on playing football, we're professionals."

source: SportMob

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