Barcelona supervisor Xavi Hernandez lauded his team’s functionality towards Real Madrid on Wednesday inspite of heading down 3-2 right after excess time in a thrilling Spanish Supercopa semifinal in Saudi Arabia.
Federico Valverde struck the winner in the 98th minute as Madrid recorded their 100th Clasico get just after Luuk de Jong and Ansu Fati experienced before cancelled out aims from Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema.
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Nonetheless, on a day when Pedri and Ansu returned from prolonged-phrase injuries and €55 million signing Ferran Torres created his Barca debut, Xavi was satisfied with what he noticed in defeat.
“I am sad and angry mainly because the activity was there for the getting for us,” the Barca mentor stated in his publish-activity news meeting.
“We performed with a advanced in the very first 20 minutes, but we bought around that. It was a day to be courageous. This Barca side can contend towards any individual. We did not get the consequence we wished, but it was nonetheless a phase forward.
“The inner thoughts are contradictory mainly because we could pretty much touch the earn. I’m unhappy because it is a Clasico defeat and we miss out on a trophy, but we dominated Madrid for big spells.
“We deficiency some experience, endurance, obligation. We built mistakes. We could have stopped [Madrid’s] counters and been far more liable with the ball. But we’re close.”
Barca recorded 20 photographs to Madrid’s 14 at the King Fahd Stadium and registered 53% of the possession. Madrid experienced the much better odds, however, with Benzema hitting the write-up in the next fifty percent and Rodrygo Goes missing a late chance to make it 4-2 in more time.
Carlo Ancelotti disagreed with Xavi’s evaluation of the video game, but he did give Barcelona credit rating for their performance in Riyadh.
“I do not agree [with Xavi], the match was even, they experienced far more possession and we made use of the counter,” the Madrid mentor stated.
“In the initially 50 percent, we deserved to acquire, we conceded with some terrible luck. The second fifty percent was far more even but I don’t think Madrid dominated Barca or that Barca dominated Madrid.
“We dropped off to get pleasure from the counter. The counter was helpful. We experienced some good quality moves — the a few targets were being impressive. An even sport, truthfully. It was a fantastic present, we gave a excellent perception of Spanish soccer. In my opinion, Barcelona played well, much too.”
Madrid, who will face possibly Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in Sunday’s closing, welcomed Dani Carvajal back again to the staff as they beat Barca but shed David Alaba to a late injuries.
“We hope Alaba will be readily available for the weekend,” Ancelotti reported.
Barca midfielder Pedri arrived off the bench in the 2nd half to make his initially look since September just after recovering from a thigh harm, while Ansu scored his fifth intention of the season as he returned from a hamstring trouble that experienced sidelined him since November.
There was also a comprehensive debut for Torres, who signed from Manchester City this thirty day period, and Xavi thinks all three gamers will be essential to the club’s hopes of ending in the best four in LaLiga this time. They are now sixth.
“These three are going to assist us a lot,” Xavi mentioned. “Pedri and Ferran want minutes and rhythm of matches soon after time out, but Ansu has come straight back again with a objective. All of them are likely to contribute massively this year.”
Though Madrid stay in Saudi Arabia to put together for Sunday’s ultimate, Barca will have a no cost weekend. They are subsequent in motion towards Athletic in the Copa del Rey future Wednesday.
ESPN FC correspondent Alex Kirkland contributed to this report.