Xavi: Barcelona played quite well against Intercity
Barcelona struggled to overcome third-tier Intercity in the Copa del Rey, with Ansu Fati settling a thrilling tie in extra-time.
Barcelona did just about enough to avoid what would have been a catastrophic defeat at the hands of Intercity in the Copa del Rey and have booked their place in the last 16 of the competition. Ansu Fati netted the winning goal in extra-time in Alicante in a seven-goal thriller that will live long in the memory. Intercity ran out of steam in the closing stages and came up short as they looked to make their dreams of a cup upset come true, while Xavi Hernandez’s side have managed to fend off a new ‘crisis’ and their hopes of winning the trophy remain alive. The Barça coach spoke to the press at Estadio José Rico Pérez following his team’s slender victory.
On Barcelona’s overall performance:
We gave them too many chances in a game that we had under total control. Too many chances. We played well but not in either penalty box. We didn’t stop crosses, we didn’t defend our pentlay area well. We can’t come away from the came feeling happy. Our general play was quite good but we need to be more convincing.
On whether he was ‘disappointed’ with Barcelona’s display:
Sometimes you don’t defend as well as you want to but we had to kill the game off and we weren’t clinical enough. Today, we weren’t good enough in either penalty box. But we had to dominate the game and in that sense we played well, we played at a good tempo. We did some good things but we also made life too difficult for ourselves at times.
On the team’s post-World Cup form:
No. We’re playing well. We played brilliantly in the first half against Espanyol. And I’m happy with how we played today. We’re not clinical enough but we’re playing well. We need to be more convincing in both penalty areas. I have to think that we can do better. We’ve got time to get ready for Sunday’s game (against Atlético Madrid). We have to accept that Robert Lewandowski won’t be available.
On whether the match was a ‘near-embarrassment’:
No. Soccer doesn’t work like that. It’s hard to win. Does that mean every LaLiga club that’s been knocked out have embarrassed themselves? You have to respect every team. Gustavo Siviero is a good coach, Intercity are a good team. You have to respect them.
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