EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

After Real Madrid triumph, Xavi compliments Barcelona s ‘spectacular’ defence

Xavi Simons

After Barcelona’s 1-0 Copa del Rey triumph against Real Madrid on Thursday, manager Xavi Hernandez lauded his team’s defence.

The Catalans held yet another clean sheet in a game in which Real Madrid had plenty of possession but failed to score.

Xavi had to make changes to his backline when Andreas Christensen was injured, but he was pleased with their performance.

“I’m glad with the outcome because we were able to suffer, but I can’t be thrilled with the game,” he remarked.

“We’ve been unable to keep the ball. We have struggled to win duels in order to gain possession. We’ll fought till the finish, which is really encouraging.” “We were magnificent defensively; we couldn’t be protagonists tonight because it wasn’t our turn, they didn’t have opportunities, and we performed a fantastic defensive job.”

Xavi also claimed that despite being behind in the tie ahead of the return at the Camp Nou, he still believes Real Madrid are favourites to advance.

“The 0-1 gives us a certain edge, but we are going to have to play very hard against a very powerful Real Madrid team. “I still think Madrid is the favourite,” he continued.

The victor of the tie will face either Osasuna or Athletic in the final. During the midway mark of the match, Osasuna leads 1-0.

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