Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez expressed dissatisfaction with his team’s performance in possession despite their 1-0 victory against Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final.
Barca had lost their previous two games but produced a strong defensive display to beat Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Eder Militao’s first-half own goal proving to be the difference. Xavi’s side registered just 35% possession, their lowest in the last eight seasons and lowest across their last 685 games for which data is available. However, despite giving up possession to Madrid, Barca did not allow their opponents to register a single shot on target.
Xavi said that he was satisfied with the team’s defensive effort and how they defended, but they had work to do on the ball. He added that the plan was to have long spells of possession and defend with the ball, but they couldn’t. Xavi also said that Barca did not betray their style but were forced to defend by Carlo Ancelotti’s side. The second leg will take place at Camp Nou on April 5.
Would Real Madrid stage a wonderful comeback at the Camp Nou or would Barca march on to the finals?
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