Barcelona coach Xavi: "A tremendous win but we can't boast about the how"

Barcelona coach Xavi: "A tremendous win but we can't boast about the how"

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The Barça boss was happy with the win vs. Real Madrid but sees room to improve

Xavi Hernández finished Thursday's 1-0 Clasico win with a bittersweet feeling. He was satisfied with the narrow victory, which gives Barcelona an advantage in this Copa del Rey semifinal against Real Madrid, but a little upset because the team did not manage to fulfill the objective of dominating the game through the ball.

The coach denied that the initial plan was to defend. "The plan was to have long possessions, win duels and play in Madrid's half. Dominate with the ball. Our first objective is to defend with the ball and today we couldn't do that. We weren't neat on the ball, we also lacked pace. Today we can't boast about how," he assured. 

He was keen to highlight the great defensive work of his team without the ball because despite having control, Carlo Ancelotti's side were unable to create dangerous chances.

"We were extraordinary defending without the ball. Defending is part of the game, that's why the win is very important, it was a tremendous victory. Today we minimised Madrid. They only had one chance through Rodrygo," he added. 

Despite praising his team defensively, he insisted that they need to improve a lot in an area in which Barça usually excel. 

Xavi said: "They pushed us into our own half a lot, they subdued us with the ball. It's not the percentage of possession we're looking for. We need to play with the ball because, otherwise, we won't control the games. I'm not satisfied with the game." 

And the Barça continues to consider Madrid as the favourites in the tie: "This result changes little; it's 1-0, but I see Madrid as strong, very strong physically. I still see Madrid as favourites."

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