Barcelona Mute Valencia, Xavi Reveals the Facts Behind the Ferran Torres-Ansu Fati Penalty Fighting Incident
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez revealed the story behind Ferran Torres’ failure to execute a penalty when his team faced Valencia in the continued match of the Spanish La Liga 2022/2023 on Sunday (5/3/2023).
As is known, Barcelona managed to pick up a narrow 1-0 victory in that match. Raphinha’s only goal in the 15th minute failed to be equalized by the visitors until the whistle sounded to mark the end of the game.
The Blaugrana actually have a great chance to double their advantage. The referee awarded a penalty kick for Xavi’s men in the 53rd minute.
Torres was also seen ‘fighting’ for a penalty with Ansu Fati . Reports reveal that the 20-year-old player wants to be given the opportunity to become the executor.
In the end, the former Manchester City player still became the executioner. However, the shot he tried to score still hit the goalpost, so he failed to produce a second number for Barca.
Xavi explained that the decision to send Torres as the executor of the penalty had been taken by the coaching staff themselves. The player was burdened with a crucial task because the Blaugrana’s mainstay striker, Robert Lewandowski, was absent from strengthening his team due to injury.
“Before the game, we already knew who was (in charge of) taking the penlti and Ansu (asked it) to Ferran,” said Xavi after the match, as reported by SB Nation .
“There is an order in the penalty shootout that we communicate to the players. Ferran is at the top of that list. The staff decides and the players know that,” he said again, citing the Football Espana report .
Barcelona striker Ansu Fati (center) tries to pass Valencia’s player Ilaix Moriba during the Spanish La Liga match at Camp Nou stadium, Spain, Sunday (5/3/2023). Thanks to this victory, Barcelona now collects 62 points at the top of the Spanish League standings.
Apart from that, Xavi still appreciates Ansu Fati. According to him, the attitude taken by the player is a form of courage to create change in the team.
The coach who once wore the Blaugrana uniform also made words of encouragement to Ferran Torres. He asked the Spanish international player not to stop trying, even though he had to go through failure first.
“I think it’s actually a good thing that Ansu asked to take the penalty. His attitude is very positive. In the end, he just wants to make changes,” said the Barca tactician.
“(To) Ferran, never stop working. You can miss (penalty opportunity), but you have to try. Football is a game of trying. We’re not going to crucify him just for failing,” added Xavi.
Barcelona striker Raphinha celebrates after scoring a goal against Valencia in the Spanish La Liga match at the Camp Nou stadium, Spain, Sunday (5/3/2023). Barcelona narrowly won over Valencia with a score of 1-0. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
Barcelona appeared without a number of key figures against Valencia. Robert Lewandowski, Gavi, Ousmane Dembele, until his coach Xavi Hernandez, who was suspended, was unable to strengthen the Blaugrana when appearing in public himself.
The Catalan giants also seemed to have difficulty developing the game. Until the first 10 minutes, Barcelona have not been able to get a chance.
Baarca was only able to kick Raphinha in the 15th minute. Starting from Busquets’ bait, Raphinha was able to finish with a header that changed the score to 1-0.
Entering the 23rd minute, Raphinha tried his luck again. However, his shot from the left side of the Valencia defense this time went wide. The temporary score of 1-0 for Barca’s advantage lasted until halftime.
Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili saves the ball during a match against Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga continuation match at the Camp Nou stadium, Spain, Sunday (5/3/2023). Barcelona narrowly won over Valencia with a score of 1-0.
Barcelona introduced Frenck Kessie to take over from Frenkie de Jong in the second half. The Blaugrana finally got
another chance in the 53rd minute through a penalty kick scheme.
Unfortunately Ferran Torres failed to carry out the task properly. His shot went wide to the right of goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili.
Barcelona’s problems increased in the 58th minute. Ronald Araujo restrained Araujo da Silva as the last person, so he immediately got a red card.
Valencia, who excelled in players, began to actively attack. One golden opportunity was obtained in the 73rd minute, but Hugo Duro’s shot went wide.
Valencia screamed for a penalty in the 85th minute when Franck Kessie brought down Perez. However, the referee chose to budge, so that the score 1-0 in favor of Barcelona was maintained until the long whistle sounded.