Xavi Hernandez was full of regret for Barcelona’s ‘gift’ of an early penalty against an ‘effective’ Real Madrid side.
Gerard Pique felled Cristiano Ronaldo in the penalty area early in the game to give the visitors a 0-1 lead, which they would extend to a final score of 3-1, in the second leg of this Copa del Rey semi-final.
“We encountered a team that was very comfortable. They were firmly planted in defence and with very physical players against us. It has affected us a lot,” summed up Xavi post match.
“It was also very costly to give them a penalty so early on. The first leg we could have won. Madrid won this match with ease thanks to a goal from the penalty spot that was a gift.
“We were not effective and they were. We dominated the game but did not close it out.
“In the League through our work these months we are fine. The pity is that we have not worked in key games. Hopefully the 90 minutes against Milan coming up will help us to turn that tie around.
“We now have to win at Madrid on Saturday to stop our opponent and keep our heads held high. It’s okay, we have lost a title, but it is a less important one.”