Xavi: It was a crazy game, we deserved to win

Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez described the derby clash with Al-Arabi as a “crazy game” after it ended in a thrilling 3-2 win for the Wolves.

Speaking to the club website after the game, Xavi said: “It was a crazy game and we deserved to win it. We respect Al-Arabi a lot but they wasted a lot of time throughout the game and so our win was fully deserved.”

Xavi added: “All the opponents face Al-Sadd with great spririt and this increases the difficulty of the matches. In the first half we did not play well and this gave Al-Arabi the advantage and they went ahead with the first goal, but the performance improved in the second half and we succeeded in achieving the victory and the Al-Sadd that I know appeared.”

The coach continued: “I am proud of the players’ performance in the match, especially in the second half.”

Regarding Akram Afif’s two-game suspension, Xavi said: “I was surprised by Akram Afif’s punishment. There are many players in other clubs who have talked about refereeing and have not been punished. We are heading to a final and Akram is an important player for the team.”

He added: “Akram Afif is a star project in the making for the 2022 World Cup. He must be protected on and off the field. I think the suspension is not correct.”

As for the upcoming Qatar Cup final match against Al-Duhail, the coach said: “The match against Al-Duhail in the cup final will be difficult. Al-Duhail is enjoying some good moments and we are also offering amazing performances. We will compete until the last moment in all tournaments. Al-Sadd’s first goal is to win all the titles.”