Barcelona

Barcelona are sweating over the fitness of three defenders who picked up knocks during 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad. 

Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, and Dani Alves were forced off with injuries on Thursday with Xavi admitting it was due to a change in playing style.

“Because we have changed the style of play and I try to press high for 90 minutes and that hasn’t been done for a long time, we are suffering,” he said after the match.

“The pressure after losing the ball hasn’t been done for a long time and the physical fatigue is obvious. These players are not used to it but the effort is praiseworthy.”

“Gerard [Pique’s effort] is spectacular. He endured with the team until the 80th minute, [Ronald] Araujo was looking at us from the 20th minute.”

“Before, five months ago, we were playing in a mid-block and a low-block but I don’t want that. That’s why the players ended up melting. We should improve on a tactical, physical, and psychological level… It’s just that we are at the start of a project.”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal in the 11th minute to help Barcelona move back to the second on the log.

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