Thursday February 21 2013
Xavi hopes for ‘historic comeback’

Xavi Hernandez was downbeat at today’s Press conference, commenting that Barcelona were not at their best in defeat at Milan.

La Blaugrana fell to a 2-0 first leg loss at San Siro to leave them with an uphill task in the return leg of this Champions League Last 16 clash.

“For the Coaches and the players the return home was long. The first goal was unfortunate, we were not alert,” began Xavi in reflection to the assembled media today.

“We made two defensive mistakes that has now left us facing that result which we must try to overturn. We could not get near their goal anywhere, defensively they were spectacular.

“There was no sense of danger from us. The result is very, very bad, but this team and whilst this club has never pulled off a historic comeback before we would love to be the team that does it.

“We were eliminated by Inter [in 2010] and we are indebted to the fans for that. We lacked competitiveness in the second half.

“Would it be a failure if we are eliminated? No, I do not like that word. In sports, no. Whoever tries is never a failure. A disappointment, yes. But failure is not a good word.”

Barcelona struggled to get into the game at all and didn’t create any clear-cut scoring opportunities.

“This 2-0 defeat is one of the worst results to return home with, but we’ll try to overturn it. Yesterday we had a hard time.

“We need to open up the field. Try shooting from outside the area. We have to be aware of their counter-attacks too.

“For Milan, this was a dream match. We were not good and they worked very well. This is what European football is like.

“We will try to overcome them at home knowing that it will be very difficult.

“Our worst since Pep Guardiola took over in 2008? We had possession. In the first half we were locked out of their area. We had to shoot from outside the box.

“When you review the game you see many things, we didn’t dominate the details. You have to know the things that went wrong. There was some good, although few.

“We need to correct the errors, there should be no doubts in the team, as that would be the worst thing. We must be more united than ever.

“The team was not good in attack. We are physically well. We had possession, but did not attack well. We must thank the fans who were at San Siro yesterday.

“There are 90 minutes remaining and we must have the Camp Nou full of support to help make this historic comeback.”

Better news for the team today is that Eric Abidal has been given the all clear to play competitively for the club again, almost exactly a year on from his last appearance for Barca.

“This is the best news of the season.”

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