Xavi Hernandez admits that the Super Cup first leg Clasico with Real Madrid was a weird game, for the pattern of play and final score-line.
The match finished 3-2 to the home side, but Xavi believes that the balance of play was more heavily weighted towards the Blaugrana.
“My feelings were strange. It was an unjust game,” he told the Press today.
“The game was much more in our favour, we equalised quickly, went in front and could have had a fourth. It is a weird sensation because we were very good.
“We could have been better focused and a little more attentive aggressively when defending corners. Evidently, height is a problem, but Madrid also have a very forceful strategy.
“The advantage is minimal, but we won. As a team we are happy and prepared and we will now go to the Bernabeu to try to win the trophy.
“I’m was surprised at how little Mourinho complained about the refereeing, it is usually like him to. It has calmed the tension with Real Madrid.”
The veteran then reflected on the calmer attitude towards his club that he believes is emerging.
“I notice that in general there is respect to our style of play from the journalists. There is no lynching, but there are journalists driven by fanaticism. I understand that some want Barca to win and others want Madrid to win.
“But, I am very proud. We have spent many years working towards this philosophy, with many people at the club. I notice the respect.”
This was in reference to less of a pressure on the side if they lose or draw a game, compared to previous years. Conversely, though, Xavi then went on to talk about the importance the first two wins of the season have had in helping Tito Vilanova’s reign begin smoothly.
“The results have brought more confidence than other results in previous years. Yesterday we were better and that is shown in the match. It was Real Madrid and to leave yesterday with a 3-2 win was the best example.
“It is important to win to avoid criticism, because if you draw or lose here you get criticised. But it has been confirmed that we are still good and everything is optimistic. Tito is the first who wants to win all the titles, even if it will be difficult.”
The captain also had some words of support for Victor Valdes, whose blunder in the final few minutes gifted Real their second goal.
“Valdes is the best goalkeeper in the world that Barcelona could have. There’s plenty of risk when people pressure us in these moments during the game, but he’s very strong and is mentally prepared.”