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    LaLiga News: Barcelona ‘had to react’ says Xavi after win over Villarreal

    Barcelona boss Xavi believes his side responded to their critics with a decisive 3-0 win over Villarreal in La Liga, saying they “should have reacted” to the recent mixed form.

    Blaugrana played a seven-minute stretch just past the half-hour mark, with Robert Lewandowski scoring a quick double and Ansu Fati adding a third at Camp Nou.

    The win means Barça are three points behind league leaders Real Madrid after losing in El Clasico at the weekend, but also locking out a two-game no-win streak to put them back in first place.

    Prior to Thursday’s win, Xavi had just won one in his previous four matches and Xavi acknowledged that his team must answer their critics and was glad they did so in such an impressive manner.

    “We had a great match,” he said. “It’s our turn [to win] – we had to get there. It was not easy, because after the bad results, a lot was expected of us.

    “We have high hopes for this season. But we showed our true face, we showed character. Overall, it’s a good feeling.”

    Barça have announced changes since the surrender in El Clasico, with Fati leading one of five exchanges in the starting line-up, Frenkie de Jong giving the go-ahead in midfield and Rafinha and Ousmane Dembele out.

    Xavi suggested that his rotations were planned ahead of time and not as a result of the loss to Madrid, adding: “There will be changes again on Sunday.

    “We have fatigue among our players. We need intensity and we need rhythm. Players must be online for the minutes they play.”

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