Barcelona will take a crack at Real Madrid in the final of the Spanish Supercup, after both sides scraped through their semi-finals on penalties. It has highlighted as many negatives as it has positives though, particularly for Xavi Hernandez.
The Blaugrana took the lead twice against Real Betis, in the first half through Robert Lewandowski, and in the first half of extra time through Ansu Fati, but were pegged back on both occasions by an insistent Real Betis.
After the match, Xavi explained that Barcelona lost control of the match.
“We have gone through different phases. The first half was ours. Betis dominated us in some phases of the second half. We have dominated in extra time but with Loren’s fantastic play, they equalised.”
“We have made life very difficult for ourselves. We haven’t known how to defend as well as at the Metropolitano. We want to play that much-desired final. The path [to follow] is that of the first half, not that of the second. We lacked mentality. The first was fantastic, but not in the second. We have not been at the necessary level, especially without the ball. Betis have dominated us.”
While the Blaugrana have come through the storm on many occasions, it seems more often than not that they will lose control of a match at some point. Gavi, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong started in midfield, and the Dutchman will protest that they were dealing with Betis relatively well until he was replaced by Sergio Busquets on the hour mark.