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Xavi Labels Barcelona's Win At Bilbao A 'Golden Victory'

Xavi Labels Barcelona's Win At Bilbao A 'Golden Victory'

Barcelona head coach Xavi has labelled their 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao as a “golden victory” for the La Liga leaders.

The Blaugrana were made to work for the three points at San Mames, with Athletic peppering their goal in the dying stages.

Raphinha’s early goal proved the difference, with the victory restoring Barca’s nine-point buffer from second-placed Real Madrid.

“We played 70 to 80 minutes at a good level, but at a stadium like Estadio San Mames, it’s only natural to end up suffering, because they press a lot,” Xavi told reporters.

“It’s a golden victory and a date that we had marked in the diary for some time.

“This is three very important points, but we have to improve, when we go ahead in games.”

The hosts generated 15-10 shots and 5-2 on target, despite having less possession, such was the pressure Barca were under.

The Catalans were booed and jeered by the home crowd, following reports of corruption whereby former presidents paid referees to favour them.

The controversy centres around former Vice President of the Referees Committee Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira from 2001 to 2018.

“In the locker room we have not talked about the Negreira case, nor about whether they are going to punish us in Europe,” Xavi said.

“We have to concentrate, we are professionals. The president has already spoken.”

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