Barcelona came into Thursday evening’s Europa League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt with hopes and optimism of reaching a European semi-final after three years without one. Their hopes were duly trampled on by hordes of Eintracht fans.
Not only did Barcelona lose 4-3 on aggregate, they appear to have lost one of their key players in the process. Midfielder Pedri was replaced at half-time by Frenkie de Jong and early reports suggest that he could be out for the rest of the season.
Speaking to Mundo Deportivo after the match, manager Xavi Hernandez was keen to avoid going overboard with the defeat. Already thinking about the games ahead, Xavi wanted to turn the match into a blip.
“We can’t lose go off the path that we are following, believing in what we are doing. We have played some great matches, but defeat is also part of football.”
Few would doubt that Xavi took over the club with a team in construction. Despite the progress made, the Catalan wanted this to be learning experience for his young squad.
“If it’s a failure, and I don’t want to use that word, well we will learn more from out mistakes. This defeat should make us believe more in our ideas. It’s a question of time and patience.”