Xavi outlines keys to Barcelona’s progress ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt

Barcelona face Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday evening with the hope of making it through to their first semi-final since the competition was rebranded.

They will be able to count on two players who have been missing for the last two fixtures: Memphis Depay and Sergino Dest. The latter has been absent for several weeks, but could return to action after a hamstring issue. Gerard Pique is in the matchday squad but it is not yet clear if he will be fit to play.

In terms of the football itself, manager Xavi Hernandez was asked what went wrong in the first leg, where they could only manage a 1-1 draw. Diario AS carried his response.

“The losses of the ball need to disappear. We have to be cleaner. The grass will help us. We need to minimise their counter-attacks and defend with the ball more in order to avoid their transitions. And we were lacking intensity and we must compete better.”

Barcelona broke through the Eintracht defence with a lovely move culminating in a Ferran Torres finish, but for large parts of the match were stymied by the Germans. Xavi was also asked what the Blaugrana will do to address the issue.

“In the first place, we need to be more responsible with the ball. The truth is that the pitch wasn’t perfect. Tomorrow it will be. Then we need to understand when to attack the spaces. Today we trained how to attack and defend better.”


Tags Barcelona Eintracht Frankfurt Europa League Xavi Hernandez
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