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Xavi hails Barca’s new ‘winning character’ after ‘epic’ Celta comeback


By AFP
Published : 24 Sep 2023 07:00 PM

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez praised his side's "winning character" after a sensational 3-2 comeback to beat Celta Vigo on Saturday and move top of La Liga.

The coach, who signed a new deal until 2025 this week, celebrated with his 50th victory in La Liga, as Robert Lewandowski's brace and Joao Cancelo's late winner helped his team triumph despite entering the final 10 minutes two goals behind.

Jorgen Strand Larsen and Anastasios Douvikas struck for the visitors, who seemed on course for a surprise win against the champions, but Barcelona produced a comeback which Xavi called "epic".

"We didn't play well (but) came up with the epic, showing winning character," Xavi told reporters.

"Historically we have lacked that ... this shows the generational change we have, they didn't give up, two nil down at home.

"I think this generation fights until the end ... what happened today is a tremendous turning point of winning character, we didn't play well but it's about character, faith, the epic."

Wily Celta coach Rafa Benitez set up in his typically defensive fashion, unlike Barcelona's recent visitors Real Betis and Royal Antwerp, whose attacking intent made them lambs to the slaughter.

Barcelona hit 10 goals in their previous two matches, with Xavi saying it was the best they had played in his reign, but this performance was largely at the other end of the spectrum.

"(Winning) tastes good, but is it better than the day against Betis or Antwerp? No, because this is not our path," said Xavi.

"Our path is the other day, playing well, moving the ball around high up the pitch –- when we lower our intensity, this team suffers a lot."