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Xavi angry at Barcelona’s ‘clear step backwards’ against Shakhtar

The boss isn’t happy

FC Barcelona Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Xavi wasn’t at all happy with his team after seeing his players beaten 1-0 by Shakhtar in Hamburg on Tuesday in the Champions League.

The Catalans were hoping to qualify with a good result in Germany but still have plenty of work to do to progress to the knockout stages.

Here’s what Xavi made of it all after the match:

“We haven’t played a good game. Nothing has gone as planned. We wanted to confirm the classification but it is a clear step backwards,” he said.

“The Champions League demands the highest level but we have not found it. We are angry. We could not fail and we have failed. It’s a big mistake on our part.”

Xavi made four substitutions in the second half in a bid to get his team going but saw his team manage just one shot on target and admitted his attackers were poor.

“We have not understood what the game required. We have not attacked well. We have not defended that lateral center well and mistakes are costly,” he added.

“There was attitude and intensity in the second half but we couldn’t get the result. The reaction has been good but insufficient. The small details are taking their toll on us.

“I’ve got work to do on the training ground. We aren’t pressing well enough, we aren’t concentrating well enough. But it’s not time for the players to lose confidence. It’s time to win it back. The players need to step up.”

Barcelona now head back to face Alaves at the weekend which is the final game before the final international break of the calendar year.

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