Xavi Hernandez ‘happy with play’ despite Barcelona Copa del Rey scare

Barcelona escaped Alicante with their Copa del Rey status narrowly in tact after conceding three times to third-tier Intercity. The Blaugrana eventually won out in extra time, but ahead of a crucial match against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, it has raised concerns back in Catalonia.

Speaking to Diario AS after the match, Xavi Hernandez was keen to avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water. His view of the game that they defended and finished poorly, but played quite well.

“We conceded a lot in a game that we had very much under control. We gave a lot. Our play was good and we have failed in areas. We did not stop crosses, we have not defended the area well. We cannot leave happy. The game has been quite good, but we have to be more effective.”

Asked if he was worried about the dynamic of the Barcelona side, having failed to impress against Espanyol too, Xavi was strong with his response.

“No. The play was good. The first half against Espanyol was brilliant. And today I’m happy with the play. We are lacking effectivity. But we are in a good moment in terms of how we are playing. We were not effective in both areas. I have to think what we can improve. There is time to prepare for Sunday’s game. Lewandowski’s sanction must be obeyed.”

Certainly there is something to be said for their first half, in which they looked sharp and played quick, smooth football. Yet in the second half, as against Espanyol, that fell apart. Equally four goals is an impressive total, but against that level of opposition over 120 minutes, with the talent they have, it looks a little closer to par for the course.

Beyond this game, some might ask whether this Barcelona side are improving? It seems as if Barcelona are condemned to live life on the edge in almost every game, due to their inability to defend.

Tags Barcelona Copa del Rey Intercity CF Xavi Hernandez
La Liga - Club News