Only we can lose LaLiga after Clasico win

Xavi Hernandez stated LaLiga is Barcelona’s to lose after they beat Real Madrid 2-1 at Camp Nou on Sunday to maneuver 12 factors clear on the high of the desk.

Franck Kessie got here off the bench to attain a stoppage-time winner for Barca after Madrid’s Marco Asensio had seen a late aim dominated out by VAR for offside on a dramatic day within the title race.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, extra (U.S.)
– Marsden: Barcelona’s Clasico win positive to determine LaLiga

With simply 12 video games left to play, Barca now discover themselves in a commanding place as they chase a primary league title since 2019, though Xavi insists they can not loosen up.

“It’s not definitive, I don’t feel like we are champions yet, but it’s a huge step forward,” Xavi stated in a information convention after the sport.

“I am happy because [the lead is] 12 points with 12 games left, but it’s not over. Only we can lose LaLiga, so we cannot switch off. We cannot relax. There are still a lot of games to go.”

Barca have now received three matches in a row in opposition to Madrid in all competitions, one thing that they had not achieved since 2011-12 when Pep Guardiola, who attended Sunday’s sport, was in cost.

It represents a exceptional turnaround since Xavi took over 18 months in the past. Barca have been ninth within the league on the time however ultimately completed second and are well-placed to go one higher this season.

“I don’t think enough value is given to what the players are doing,” Xavi added. “We have only dropped 10 points in LaLiga. I don’t think that is spoken about enough. They have been extraordinary.

“Look at the place we are coming from. Last season, we [finished 13] factors behind. We have been even three behind when we misplaced the Clasico [this season] in October — that is a 15-point swing since then.”

A Ronald Araujo own goal had given LaLiga holders Madrid an early lead as they sought to cut the gap on Barca to six points, but Sergi Roberto drew the home side level on the stroke of halftime.

Kessie’s winner arrived in the second minute of added-on time — minutes after Madrid thought Asensio had won them the game — and Xavi felt his team deserved the three points.

“We had probabilities and the management of the sport,” he said. “In common, we have been superior to Madrid. I believe the important thing was minimising how usually we gave the ball away. We did not allow them to counter.

“We were responsible with the ball and dominated many phases of the match. In the last game [a 1-0 win in the Copa del Rey two weeks ago], they dominated us, but not today. We were better.”

The Barca coach additionally stated he was “surprised” by Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti’s complaints about Asensio’s offside aim.

“It’s a clear [decision],” he stated. “Either it’s offside or it isn’t, there is no possible debate there.”

The name to rule out Asensio’s effort set the stage for Kessie’s late strike, which featured a superb Robert Lewandowski again heel within the buildup and left Xavi with goosebumps.

“It’s been one of the best days I have had [as Barca coach],” he stated. “The fans deserved it. I remember when we lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich [in November]; they were here until the end, singing. I had goosebumps tonight when Franck scored — and he deserved that. It’s a day to be enjoyed.”

Barca and Madrid now each break for worldwide fixtures, however they may meet once more at Camp Nou on April 5 within the Copa del Rey semifinal. The Blaugrana have a 1-0 lead from the primary leg, with the winners assembly both Athletic Club or Osasuna in May’s closing.

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