Frenkie De Jong talks about him being substituted in the derby

Frenkie de Jong, a midfielder for Barcelona, didn’t seem too pleased with his substitution in the Saturday afternoon city derby match against Espanyol

De Jong was starting a seventh straight La Liga game after regaining Xavi’s favour following a summer transfer scandal that had put him out of favour at the beginning of the season.

At Camp Nou, De Jong played for 83 minutes. Marcos Alonso’s early goal was cancelled out by a Joselu penalty, but Barça was still being held. Both sides had 10 players left, but the Catalans might have believed they were in the lead and needed to pursue the victory.

De Jong acknowledged to LaLiga TV that he was startled to have left the field at the time that he did, but he insisted that it was “the coach’s decision” while expressing evident annoyance.

For Barça, the result was frustrating in a number of ways. They failed to win local bragging rights, and as a result, Real Madrid and they are tied for first place with 38 points as the year comes to a close.

With a win over Espanyol, the goal would have been to reclaim the La Liga championship for the first time since 2019 and at the very least begin 2023 with a two-point lead going into the second half of the season.

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