Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez denies La Liga has become less competitive after seeing his team thrash Athletic 4-0 at the Camp Nou.
- Barca host Athletic
- Run out 4-0 winners
- Xavi says La Liga still competitive
WHAT HAPPENED? Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 win over Athletic at the Camp Nou in a one-sided affair on Sunday. Goals from Ousmane Dembele, Sergi Roberto, and Robert Lewandowski had the hosts 3-0 up after just 22 minutes before Ferran Torres added the fourth in the second half. The win puts Barca 10 points ahead of sixth-placed Athletic in La Liga after just 11 games.
WHAT THEY SAID: Xavi was asked about the situation in La Liga after the win and insisted the Spanish top flight is as competitive, if not more, than ever. “No, no. The opposite. Competitiveness has gone up a lot,” he said. “Many La Liga teams have raised their level: Real Sociedad, Athletic, Villarreal, Sevilla, Atletico.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to lead the way in Spain and look set to battle it out for the title once again this season. Defending champions Madrid are top of the table, three points ahead of Barca, and yet to taste defeat after 11 games. Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who won the title in 2021, are in third place but already eight points behind Los Blancos.
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DID YOU KNOW? Barcelona have not conceded in their last five league home games, their best run under Xavi and also their best since a streak of 12 games in a row between April and December 2011 under Pep Guardiola.
WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? Xavi’s side are back in Champions League action on Wednesday against Bayern Munich in Group C. The Catalans will be knocked out if Inter beat Viktoria Plzen in the other game in the group.