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Araujo, Cancelo react after Barcelona 3-5 Villarreal: “We are all with Xavi”

Barcelona endured another night to forget as they succumbed to a surprise 3-5 defeat to Villarreal at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys today in La Liga.

Having been trailing by two goals, the Blaugrana fought their way back into the game and took the lead through strikes from Ilkay Gundogan, Pedri, and an Eric Bailly own goal.

However, Villarreal equalised again through Goncalo Guedes before Barcelona lost the plot in stoppage time and conceded two late goals from Alexander Sorloth and Jose Luis Morales, ending up on the losing side.

The result leaves Barça ten points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid, who beat Las Palmas 2-1 earlier on Saturday.

Araujo backs Xavi after defeat

Having expressed his trust in Xavi Hernandez after the midweek defeat against Athletic Club, Ronald Araujo once again stated that he and the rest of the squad continued to have full faith in the manager and his staff.

Speaking to DAZN, he said: “Of course, we are with Xavi. Since he arrived he has helped us a lot. It’s not like we came from nothing, last season we won La Liga playing well.”

Further defending his manager, Araujo added: “When Xavi arrived, he had a team that was in the shambles. A team that had lost its DNA, that didn’t play with the philosophy. Xavi came and brought back the identity, the desire, what it means to represent this shirt.”

The defender then placed the blame of Barcelona’s current situation on the players, as he said: “The players are very much to blame for what is happening because we are the ones on the pitch… I mean, what can Xavi do with a play that you miss in front of the goal? Nothing!”

Urging the team to look forward, the Uruguayan stated: “We have to get up, there is still a long season to go.”

On the La Liga title race, he said: “You have to have hope with La Liga. As long as it is mathematically possible you have to work hard…. The young players are adding and they are helping us a lot.”

“We are still alive in the Champions League,” he added.

Joao Cancelo says his performance was a disaster

Cancelo struggled vs Villarreal. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Joao Cancelo also spoke to the media after the game and admitted that he had a disastrous outing against Villarreal.

Returning from an injury layoff, the 29-year-old came on at half-time and was culpable for Villarreal’s second goal and was part of the defensive collapse in the final minutes.

“It’s our fault. My teammates played well, but on a personal level, it was one of the worst matches I have ever played in my life,” Cancelo admitted to ESport3.

On what went wrong for Barça in the game, he added: “We have a young team, sometimes we lack experience.”

If it was still possible for Barcelona to win La Liga, now that they are ten points behind the leaders, Cancelo said: “Mathematically, we can still win La Liga, but it is very difficult.”

Like Araujo and Frenkie de Jong, Cancelo also claimed that Xavi was not to blame for what was happening and it was the players’ fault.

“We should not blame the manager. We are responsible,” he remarked.

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