Xavi Hernandez quashed any insinuation that Barcelona’s great season would be a failure if they were not to beat A.C Milan at the Nou Camp and progress to the last eight in the FIFA Champions League.
After Wednesday night’s defeat at the San Siro in Milan by two goals to nil, the Catalan giants have it all to do back home at the Nou Camp if they are to get through to the last eight. Goals from danger men Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari left the Milan fans in no doubt who are in the driving seat.
The Barca midfielder praised the home side’s great defending throughout the whole game but bemoaned Barcelona’s momentary lapses in defence which led to A.C Milan’s two goals.
Speaking today to Spanish sports paper AS, Xavi had this to say: “It was a long journey back for the players and coaching staff. The first goal was a calamity – we just weren’t paying attention. We made two defensive errors and because of that we have to try and overturn the result.”
“We just couldn’t get into the game, they were spectacular in defence but we didn’t create any danger.
“The result is very bad for us and this club has never pulled off a historical comeback and we’d love to be the team that does it. We went out to Inter Milan in 2010 and we owe the fans something. We needed to compete better in the second half.”
The Catalan giants have dominated the Spanish league so far this season and have left Real Madrid behind in third place. If all goes to plan they will win the league without any problems at all and there is still three months left.
However, some of Barcelona’s fans could see their elimination by A.C Milan from the Champions League as a failure although the midfielder disputes vehemently such an assumption.
“I don’t like the word failure at all, it wouldn’t be a failure. If you try, you are never a failure. It would be disappointing, but failure is not the right word,” he said.
“A 2-0 defeat is one of the worst results you can return home with, but we will give it a try.”
“Yesterday we really struggled. We’ll have to open up the pitch and create space and take shots from outside the area and be careful of the counter-attack.”
“A.C Milan played the perfect match. We weren’t at the races and they worked very well. This is what European football is like. We’re going to try and turn it around at home knowing it will be very difficult.”
Xavi Hernandez knows full well that Barca didn’t deliver last night and even Tito Vilanova said earlier on this season that Barca would lose some matches.
Now and again Barcelona will come up against a team that have done their homework. It doesn’t matter if it’s A.C Milan or CF Valencia, there will be times when the team will hit a brick wall. That’s what happened last night and it shouldn’t be dwelt on. The next leg will be different at the Nou Camp and who knows what will happen. Maybe Barcelona will make a historic comeback and as we know only too well, they are more than capable of that, and more.