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Xavi praises Barcelona’s ‘spectacular’ defense after Real Madrid win

The Catalans ran out 1-0 winners

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona: Semi Final Leg One - Copa Del Rey Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez praised his team’s defense after Thursday’s 1-0 Copa del Rey win at Real Madrid.

The Catalans kept yet another clean sheet in a match where Real Madrid had plenty of possession but didn’t manage a shot on target.

Xavi had to tinker with his backline, after losing Andreas Christensen to injury, but was delighted with their performance.

“I’m satisfied with the result because we were able to suffer, but I can’t be happy with the game,” he said.

“We have not been able to keep the ball. It has been difficult for us to win duels to have possession. We have fought until the end and that’s very positive.

“Defensively we have been spectacular, we could not be protagonists but today it was not our turn, they did not have chances, we did a great job defensively.”

Xavi also insisted that he still thinks Real Madrid are favorites to progress despite being behind in the tie ahead of the return at the Camp Nou.

“The 0-1 gives us a certain advantage, but we are going to have to compete very well against a very strong Real Madrid side. I still see Madrid as a favourite,” he added.

The winners of the tie will go through to a final against Osasuna or Athletic. Osasuna lead 1-0 at the halfway point of that tie.

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