Barcelona coach Xavi hails their character for victory at Osasuna

Barcelona coach Xavi praised his players’ character for their 2-1 win at Osasuna.

Robert Lewandowski was sent off in the first-half, while Gerard Pique was also shown red at the break as a substitute.

David Garcia had Osasuna ahead before Pedri and Raphinha struck in the second-half for the visitors.

Xavi later explained that at 1-0 down at the break, he told his players to “have faith, with 10 we could dominate the match, we had to be intelligent and our moments would come.”

The tactic consisted of playing with “two rows of four and with Ferran or Ansu up front. They hardly created any chances against us. It’s a very good victory, one of courage. It was wildly celebrated in the dressing room. It was very difficult to play with 10 and I am very proud of the team”.

The Barça coach was asked about referee Jesus Gil Manzano and he gave a strong response: “We feel harmed. The first goal was not even a corner, then there was a foul and then Robert (Lewandowski) was sent off. They were very unfair decisions. The referee decides and we can’t do anything.”

Xavi took stock of his year as coach of Barça and stated that “we have grown, we are a family, a group, there is a spectacular dressing room, with the desire to win and it shows. I am proud. Now we are five clear of second-placed Real Madrid, and we are leaders before the World Cup break.”