Analysis of Barcelona Europa League defeat 'doesn't change anything' – Xavi

By Sports Desk February 25, 2023

Xavi has paid no attention to critical analysis of Barcelona following their Europa League defeat to Manchester United, looking to return focus to LaLiga.

Having drawn 2-2 at Camp Nou in the first leg of their knockout round play-off tie, Barca took the lead at Old Trafford.

But a second-half rally from United saw the Blaugrana beaten 2-1, exiting European competition.

Rather than stew on that result, though, Xavi has sought to move on quickly, with Barca eight points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the league table.

The coach has steered clear of all commentary around the game at Old Trafford.

"I've read almost nothing or nothing. It doesn't change anything," Xavi said ahead of Sunday's game against Almeria.

"I think we played a great game and we have to live with the defeat. You saw a Barca with a very good image.

"We don't think about criticism any more. You have to work to turn the tables on you."

Barca had already been eliminated from the Champions League after finishing behind Bayern Munich and Inter in their group.

"The biggest disappointment of the season was to fall out of the Champions League," Xavi said. "This one hurts, but we have LaLiga and the Copa.

"For us, it is essential to finish the season well. We have to compete in LaLiga and the Copa. We have to keep winning titles.

"We can lose, but we have to keep competing. Yesterday the sun came out again."

"That's not up to us. We cannot control it. We have to win tomorrow, regardless of what happens in the derby."

He added: "We will try not to be affected. You have to think that we are in a good position in LaLiga.

"We haven't lost since the Bernabeu and tomorrow we have a difficult game. We have to change the focus now."

After playing Almeria, Barca have the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final first leg against Madrid on Thursday.

But Xavi said his side "cannot be aware" of the Clasico ahead of this match, and he is similarly uninterested in Madrid's derby this weekend against Atletico Madrid.

"It's not up to us. We cannot control it," he said. "We have to win tomorrow, regardless of what happens in the derby."

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