Everything Xavi said after Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League
The Barça boss was very honest about the game but also spoke positively about the future.
Xavi spoke to the television cameras in the immediate aftermath of FC Barcelona’s elimination at the hands of Manchester United, who beat them 2-1 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate at Old Trafford, with goals from Fred and Antony coming after Lewandowski put Barça ahead from the spot in the first half. Here is everything he had to say:
What happened in the second half?
The 1-1 goal hurt us. We lost a ball and they equalised. They were more intense and we lost individual battles in the second half. It was an even round. There were moments in which we were very comfortable but it wasn’t to be in the end. It’s a big disappointment but we have to focus on the competitions that we’ve got left. We were playing against a great team.
The two goals came from losses of possession, did you lack intensity?
They are very strong. In the 2-1 goal they won a battle, but the goal that hurt was the 1-1. In such tight games the small details are important. I think we deserved more.
Did the change to bring on Antony surprise you?
No. We could have made it 0-2. But we didn’t control the small details.
Barcelona have let in 16 goals in Europe. They are out at the first hurdle of the Europa League. How do you manage this?
We were better than last year, we showed up against a huge opponent and we didn’t back down. We have to try to be more competitive, an important self-evaluation and concentrate on the League and Cup.
Could this elimination affect you?
The positive thing is that we have a game on Sunday. And then a Cup game on Thursday.
Was there too much tension in the tunnel [after the game]?
No, there was a lot of respect. I spoke to Casemiro and Varane. I respect and congratulate Manchester United.