Barcelona boss Xavi explains decision to play Marcos Alonso at centre-back against Celta

The ex-Chelsea defender was handed a new role on Sunday

Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has, on Sunday evening, provided an insight into his call to utilise Marcos Alonso in an unorthodox central defensive role.

The Blaugrana were of course back in action a short time ago.

Aware that a three-point haul would guide them back clear of Real Madrid to the summit of the La Liga table, Barca welcomed Celta Vigo to the Camp Nou, eyeing a 7th win from eight.

And, when all was said and done, the evening’s hosts, just, got the job done.

A solitary goal on the part of Pedri, coupled with some brilliance between the posts courtesy of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, eventually culminated in Xavi and co. emerging on the right side of a 1-0 scoreline.

Barcelona, in truth, though, got lucky.

The Catalans gave up a whole host of presentable opportunities to Celta across the 90 minutes, and will without question need to up their game over the course of the coming week, ahead of potentially season-defining showdowns with Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Speaking on the back of the full-time whistle on Sunday, it therefore came as little surprise when Xavi was drawn on his latest team selection.

The Blaugrana’s woes this evening came with a makeshift backline in place, amid something of an injury crisis at the Camp Nou.

Nevertheless, the club’s supporters were left puzzled by their side’s boss opting to leave Eric Garcia on the bench, to instead slot left-back Marcos Alonso into a makeshift role at the heart of defence.

This call, though, came largely out of necessity, it has since been revealed.

Xavi, post-match, announced that Garcia was in fact left out from the off against Celta owing to a ‘minor’ injury concern, with the former Manchester City man therefore not risked to see out the full 90 minutes.

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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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