Gundogan calls for more ‘frustration’ from Barça players after loss to Madrid
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona faced criticism from one of its own players following the loss to Real Madrid in the first “clasico” of the season in the Spanish league, with veteran midfielder Ilkay Gundogan saying he wanted to see more “frustration” and “anger” from his teammates.
Madrid’s celebrations, meanwhile, were dented by the club’s announcement on Sunday that midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni fractured his left foot during the 2-1 win against the Catalan rival on Saturday.
Gundogan, who put Barcelona ahead with a goal in the sixth minute, said he expected to see more emotion from his teammates in the locker room after the home loss.
“I don’t want to say something wrong,” he said. “But I was on the dressing room and of course, people are disappointed, but especially after such a big game and such a result, I wished more frustration, more anger, you know, and more disappointment.”
The 33-year-old former Manchester City midfielder, who signed with Barcelona in the summer, said the lack of emotion was “a little bit of the problem.”
“There has to be more emotion, especially when you lose, when you know you can perform better, you can do better in certain situations, and you just don’t react,” he said. “We need to make a good step in that, otherwise Real Madrid or even Girona is going to run away.”
The loss dropped Barcelona four points behind both Madrid and Girona, which sit at the top of the table after 11 rounds. Girona defeated Celta Vigo 1-0 on Friday for its ninth win of the season. Atletico Madrid moved past Barcelona into third place after a 2-1 home win against Alaves on Sunday.
Barcelona came into the "clasico" unbeaten in all competitions. It won its first three matches in the group stage of the Champions League.
Gundogan said that, as one of the veterans in the squad, he was also to blame for the lack of emotion in the locker room.
“I didn’t come here to lose these types of games,” he said. “There’s also some responsibility from myself, from a more experienced player, to not allow the squad to just let things happen. No, we need resistance.”
Jude Bellingham, the 20-year-old England international who has 13 goals in 13 matches since joining Madrid from Borussia Dortmund this season, led the comeback with goals in the 68th minute and in second-half stoppage time.
Tchouaméni played the entire match for Madrid despite the foot injury. Madrid said exams showed that the France player has “an incomplete stress fracture in the second metatarsal of the left foot.” The club said his progress will “be monitored,” but this type of injury is likely to sideline him for at least a month. He is not expected to undergo surgery.
Tchouaméni has been key for Madrid this season, being a regular starter for coach Carlo Ancelotti. He appeared in all 14 games for the club, scoring once in a league game against Girona.
Madrid's next game is against Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish league on Sunday. Barcelona visits Real Sociedad on Saturday.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer