Xavi Hernandez proud of ‘immense effort’ in ‘even game’ after Manchester United draw

Barcelona will go to Old Trafford next Thursday knowing they must take Manchester United down in their own back yard. The two played out a fiercely contested 2-2 draw at Camp Nou, with both managers coming away pleased with their sides.

Erik ten Hag remarked that he thought his side should have won, and would have, if they cut out their mistakes. The Dutch manager also believed they could’ve scored four.

Speaking after the match, Xavi Hernandez felt the game was more balanced than his counterpart.

“A very even match, we played against a great team, very hard-working, very physical, who competed very well. We dominated in many phases of the game, there were chances for both of us and we had the feeling of being able to score the winning goal. I already said yesterday that at Old Trafford it would be decided, and that’s how it will be. Spectacular attitude.”

He would then go on to tell Marca that he was pleased with the way his team went about the game, as much as anything else.

“I am satisfied. We competed. It is one of the best teams in Europe. The attitude is immense. We matched them in intensity and I will stick with the final push, we showed character. When other teams went ahead on the scoreboard in Europe, we were sinking mentally, and today we had a tremendous reaction and we were even able to win. I’m leaving proud of the team. We’ve given everything.”

Asked what he expects from the return leg next Thursday, Xavi predicted more of the same.

“A match with a lot of intensity, with more passion and a spectacular ground. We can go compete and see what happens. Today was a very even match. I’m proud despite the draw.”

Barcelona could well have won it at the end, but there were large stretches of the game in which United set the tone. Without Gavi and Pedri for next week, one suspended, one injured, it looks like an uphill task for the Blaugrana. Especially crucial will be generating some form from their forward line.

Tags Barcelona Europa League Manchester United Xavi Hernandez
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