Barcelona coach Xavi: "We competed much better than the result says"

Barcelona coach Xavi: "We competed much better than the result says"

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Xavi gave his thoughts on Barça's Copa del Rey semifinal defeat to Madrid

Wednesday's loss to Real Madrid was a big blow to Xavi Hernández's project. Barcelona were on the verge of a domestic treble of enormous value in his first full season in charge. But that went down the drain in a disastrous second half in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final. Barça floundered and ruined a good first half, eventually losing 4-0 on the night, 4-1 on aggregate.

After the match, Xavi spoke to assess his team's defeat at Spotify Camp Nou. It was a hard night for the fans who were really devoted to the game throughout and behind the team. More than 94,000 attended the stadium.

"We have to be united, it's a difficult moment. In difficult moments you see how a team reacts. It's a difficult night to take, a heavy defeat. We competed much better than the result says. Mistakes of not knowing how to compete well penalised us," commented Xavi.

He added: "In the first half we were very good, we were superior in terms of play, chances, aggression. We conceded very little. As for the transitions, we talked about the fact that we had to stop them and that's where the 0-1 came from. The 0-2 killed us as soon as we came out of the dressing room. In short, it's a pity. We had a good first half and a bad second half."

Barça were without Christensen, De Jong, Pedri and Dembele but Xavi did not want to talk about the absentees.

"It would sound like an excuse if I said that they have been noticed," he said. "We competed very well, I'm proud of the first half; in the second we paid dearly for our mistakes. We played against Madrid, for me they were favourites in the tie, as I said. We played against the reigning Champions League winners."

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