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Xavi Identifies Reasons Barcelona Crashed Out In Europa



Xavi Identifies Reasons Barcelona Crashed Out In Europa

Xavi Hernandez has put Barcelona’s defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League play-offs down to “fine details.”

The Barca boss couldn’t guide his team past Erik ten Hag’s in-form United side, who came from behind to book their place in the last 16, winning 2-1.

Xavi’s men had taken the lead in the 18th minute after Robert Lewandowski scored a penalty, but second-half strikes from Fred and Antony gave United a deserved victory following a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first leg at the Camp Nou last Thursday.

Speaking after the match, Xavi admitted that Barcelona ultimately couldn’t cope with their opponents’ improved performance after a disappointing first-half display.

“United were very intense in that second half,” the Spaniard told a post-match press conference. “They are in very good form at the moment and are very good at home. It is those fine details that made all the difference.”

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Star striker Lewandowski, who fired a penalty beyond David de Gea’s fingertips to put Barca ahead in the 18th minute, echoed his manager’s sentiment.

“In the first half, we had almost everything under control,” the Poland international told Viaplay.

“But the second half, for 10, maybe 15 minutes when Manchester [United] pushed us and scored two goals, it wasn’t the best time for us.

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“Of course we fought until the end to change the result but it was not enough. Maybe if we had tried to score another goal, took more risks and tried to create another situation, it’d also have been more tough for the opponent to have gone forward.”

Meanwhile, it was jubilation for United’s players, who delighted manager Erik ten Hag. “I think we have some great personalities in the team like Raphael [Varane] and [Lisandro] Martinez, they don’t fear anyone,” the Dutch boss told BT Sport post-match.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication


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