Xavi jumps to defence of under-fire Barcelona pair after Valencia clash

Barcelona head coach Xavi has tonight moved to launch a stern defence of two leading members of his squad.

As much comes owing to developments in Barca’s meeting with Valencia.

The Blaugrana, of course, are fresh off a return to winning ways, hat-trick hero Robert Lewandowski proving himself the star of the show en route to a 4-2 La Liga triumph.

This, however, only came after Xavi’s side had dug themselves into a hole in Catalunya’s capital.

After Fermín López opened the scoring in proceedings, Barcelona soon found themselves a goal down.

This came owing to a pair of high-profile mistakes, first on the part of Marc-André ter Stegen, and then teammate Ronald Araújo.

The former saw his attempt at a chip over the head of Valencia’s Hugo Duro provide the frontman with an empty net to slot home into, before stopper Araújo gave away a penalty for a rash challenge on Peter.

Speaking to the media on the back of the full-time whistle at Montjuïc, it therefore came as little surprise when the subject of the latest round of individual errors amongst his ranks was put to the aforementioned Xavi.

Barca’s headmaster, though, was quick to leap to the defence of Ter Stegen and Araújo alike:

“Ter Stegen is one of the most loved players in the dressing room,” Xavi began. “All of them have a very good relationship. He knows that everyone is here for him.”

He continued:

“Araujo made a mistake. But he and other players are still very young. They are in a learning process. He has to control some details, but he has saved us so many times before.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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