Ilkay Gündogan said Barcelona must show more emotion and more anger if they are to compete in the biggest games after losing Saturday’s El Clásico 2-1 to Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium.
Barça took the lead in the first half through Gündogan, but a brace from Jude Bellingham after the break, including the 92nd-minute winner, helped Madrid return to the top of LaLiga, level on points with Girona and four clear of the Blaugrana.
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Gündogan said the manner in which Barça reacted to the defeat highlighted the problems they will face if they want to compete for the title this season.
“I have to be honest, not as much as I wish because I don’t want to say something wrong, but I was in the dressing room and of course people are disappointed,” the Germany midfielder told LaLiga TV.
“But especially after such a big game and a result that is so unnecessary, I wish for more frustration, more anger and more disappointment. This is a little bit the problem.
“There has to be more emotion, especially when you lose and when you know you can perform better, do better in certain situations and you just don’t react.
“It transfers to the pitch at the end of the day. We need to make a huge step in that because otherwise Real Madrid or even Girona are going to run away. I didn’t come here to lose this type of game or to let a gap create.”
Gündogan, 33, joined Barça as a free agent in the summer from Manchester City on the back of winning the Treble with the Premier League side.
Barça coach Xavi Hernández wanted to bring him in to add creativity in the final third, but also for his experience, and he accepts he has to big role to play in helping the team recover from losing to Madrid.
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“There is also a responsibility for myself, as a more experienced player, to not allow the squad to just let things happen,” he added. “No, we need resistance.”
Defeat in El Clásico was Barça’s first in all competitions this season, although draws against Getafe, Mallorca and Granada meant they went into the weekend in third place in the able, behind Madrid and Girona.
Gündogan’s goal had given Barça a deserved lead at the break.But after Fermín López and Iñigo Martínez hit the woodwork for the home side, Bellingham’s 12th and 13th goals of a spectacular season helped Los Blancos turn things around.
Xavi felt the result was an unfair reflection on the game.
“The summary of the game is very simple,” he said in his postmatch news conference. “We had 60 really good minutes and scored one goal. Madrid had 20 good minutes and scored twice.
“But that’s football, if you don’t score the second… We need five or six [chances] to score a goal. With three, they score two. That’s football and that’s Madrid.”