Xavi furious after Rayo Vallecano defeat – They showed more intensity

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez looked a beaten figure on the touchline on Wednesday night, as he saw his side succumb to Rayo Vallecano in a 2-1 defeat. After the match he explained the reasons for his frustration, and he was not short of them.

Frustrated, he pointed out that his side used far too many long balls during the match, and that they were not loyal to the style he wanted.

Marca covered his press conference after the match, and perhaps the thing was most frutrated about was his team’s attitude – he was asked whether they were lacking motivation.

“I don’t want to think that, but it’s difficult to win this League. We can’t lack intensity, rhythm. We can’t afford it. The points total we had up to now was not normal. It’s been an intense game. We haven’t had control. We were never comfortable at any time and we played a bad game.”

Then it was put to Xavi that the La Liga title race could go on much longer than expected with more performances like that against Rayo.

“No, not long, what I want is to win it. We haven’t competed as the game required. This annoys me as a coach. To think about Saturday that, luckily, there is another game.”

The intensity was a recurring theme throughout the press conference, and it seems clear Xavi does not feel his players showed enough fight against Rayo.

“They have shown more intensity. They want to win La Liga, but the difficulty is clear. This ground required an excellent intensity and we have not had it. It is one of the reasons for taking us a deserved defeat.”

It could be a major problem in the final seven games of the league season for Xavi and Barcelona. The significant gap in points between the Blaugrana and Real Madrid has perhaps knocked the excitement from the title race. These sorts of performances and the lack of intensity from Barcelona’s players will reinforce that the La Liga title is not worth celebrating much if they do eventually win it.

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