Barcelona has ‘lost’ the club’s model of play 
Barcelona has ‘lost’ the club’s model of play 

Xavi Hernandez says Barcelona lost their identity in six years he left the club after his side left it late to beat Elche 3-2 on Saturday.

Nico Gonzalez scored the winning goal in the 85th minute as Barca recovered from squandering a two-goal lead at Camp Nou to end a three-match winless streak.

Xavi left Barca as a player in 2015 after winning the Treble under Luis Enrique and admits he has been surprised by what he has encountered since returning as manager last month.

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“We lost [Barcelona’s] Xavi said during the post-match press conference.

“I haven’t been here for six years and there are things that surprise me tactically. I’m not here so I don’t know who’s responsible for it, but it’s doing. [the job] difficult for us.

“Most [of players] do not understand the playing position. There are mechanics that I’ve understood since I was 11 and we have players here that haven’t worked. “

Victory over Elche puts Barca up to seventh in La Liga after last week’s Europa League disappointment and draw Osasuna.

To turn the tide, Xavi turned to youth, with the player still technically registered in the B team scoring all three goals against Elche.

Ferran Jutgla, 22 years old, opened the scoring in his first game for the club with Gavi17 years old, scored his second goal and then assisted 19-year-old Nico.

“You can only take your hat off to that performance by Gavi,” Xavi added. “The way he plays is breathtaking. With Nico, Abde [Ezzalzouli], [Ronald] Araujo, [Alejandro] Balde… they are the future of the club.

“I played here when I was 18 and I was scared. These guys are bursting with personality. I’m happy with this generation, Gavi is particularly interesting.

“The most surprising thing about Gavi is his age, he’s 17. Look at the way he plays. Today he made the difference with a goal and an assist. I don’t want to compare him to anyone, just make sure he doesn’t put the brakes on because he has no ceiling.”

Xavi thinks the emerging generation of talent at Barca could be “better” than the one he experienced and played with under Pep Guardiola a decade ago.

“We are talking about seven players at a very good level who can make the difference,” he said. “When I say they’re making a difference, it’s not a message to veterans, it’s kids who score goals and make them.”

Jutgla and Gavi’s efforts were canceled out by two goals in the second two minutes by substitute Elche Tete Morente and Pere Milla to rekindle memories of Barca’s demise first Celta Vigo, when they took a three-goal lead to draw 3-3.

However, substitute Nico’s second goal in as many games gave Barca three points and Xavi hopes it will be the turning point before next Tuesday’s trip. Seville

“We hope this will be an inflection point,” the coach said. “We complicate things ourselves. Elche exists because of our flaws and that can’t happen. We have to learn and be more responsible.

“I was a bit angry [after they equalised] because I didn’t imagine not winning the game. We deserve more, but given the circumstances we are in, here are the three golden points. “

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