"Don't skimp on the praise for him" - Barcelona boss Xavi insists that his team aren't dependent on midfield star after Levante win

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez looks on.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez looks on.
Anantaajith Ra

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez believes his team aren't over-reliant on midfielder Pedri Gonzalez but claimed that he deserves all the praise he gets.

Pedri has been one of the best players since the Blaugrana legend took over as permanent manager back in November 2021. The 19-year-old was crucial once again and scored just seven minutes after coming off the bench last night (April 10) to help the Catalans win 3-2 away to Levante.

Speaking after the game, Xavi was reportedly asked if his team suffered from "Pedridependencia" or a dependence on Pedri. He responded in the negative, saying (as quoted by ESPN):

"I wouldn't say that. Look, he's an extraordinary player. Don't skimp on the praise for him. He's a player that excites me and one that can make a difference."
❌"NO hay PEDRIDEPENDENCIA"XAVI echa el freno con el canario. Lo vemos en #ChiringuitoBarcelona

Xavi concluded:

"He's scored a great goal [against Levante], but I don't think there is [a dependence on him]."

Prior to his goal against Levante, Pedri scored the only goal of the game in Barcelona's victory against Sevilla in La Liga. He also netted in the Blaugrana's 2-1 victory away to Galatasaray in the UEFA Europa League to help them move into the quarterfinals of the competition.

Barcelona steal last-gasp win at Levante to reclaim 2nd spot in La Liga

Barcelona fielded a fairly strong side for their match against Levante and were expected to wield control against a side placed 19th in the La Liga standings. However, the hosts started brilliantly, forcing a couple of good saves from Marc-Andre ter Stegen and a goal-line clearance in the first half.

They eventually took the lead seven minutes after the break. Dani Alves brought down Francisco Gomez inside the box and Jose Luis Morales tucked away the spot-kick to make it 1-0.

Just two minutes later, Levante were awarded another penalty when Eric Garcia was adjudged to have used his hand to block a shot. Roger Marti stepped up to take the spot-kick this time but ter Stegen pulled off a fine save to keep his side in the game.

Barcelona got themselves level in the 59th minute when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed home a cross from Ousmane Dembele. They went ahead just four minutes later as substitutes Pablo Gavi and Pedri combined for the latter to score.

you go first and i'll get the next one 🀝

But Levante got their third penalty of the match in the 83rd minute when Clement Lenglet tripped Dani Gomez in the area. Gonzalo Melero made no mistake from the spot, coolly slotting home to level the scores once again.

However, Barcelona had the last laugh with substitute Luuk de Jong scoring in injury-time from Jordi Alba's cross to seal the game for his side.

The win took the Catalans back to second place in La Liga, level on points with third-placed Sevilla, who have played one game more.

Paul Merson has predicted the results for Chelsea vs Tottenham and other GW 2 fixtures! Click here

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava


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