Xavi: Barca patience rewarded

Xavi Hernandez complained of a dry field at the Vicente Calderon, but believes Barcelona’s 1-1 result at Atletico Madrid is ‘reward’ for their patience and work.

The Catalans struggled for rhythm in Wednesday evening’s Supercopa de Espana first leg in Madrid and needed Neymar’s second-half strike to cancel out David Villa’s opener.

“It was a tough game with the dry field. It has been tight. They have not allowed us any space,” mused Xavi post-match.

“We have tried every way. The game has been very tight. Neymar’s goal has given us life.

“We wanted to move the ball quickly but they had not watered the field. In the return leg we will have a wet field and that will benefit us.

“We tried to do a good job both in the first and second halves. In the end we found more space. We have had to be patient and have a good reward for our work.

“We are well physically. Everyone is good, together. It is a shame for Messi’s injury. Apparently it is minor. The result is good.”

The midfielder caused debate earlier this week when commenting that in Tito Vilanova’s absence last season the players missed out on tactical training. It was seen as a dig at Jordi Roura.

“I have said that with Tito we would have worked harder and been stronger. We had many problems.

“Circumstances made it very difficult for us. That is all. I have said nothing to offend anyone.”

Tags Supercopa de Espana Xavi