October 4, 2023

Xavi has expressed disappointment with Barcelona’s defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League at Old Trafford, stating that his team “deserved more” after Antony’s 73rd-minute goal ended their hopes of progression.

He told Movistar+ after the match, “In such evenly matched knockout matches, details are important. I think we deserved something more. The goal to make it 1-1 hurt us. We lost a ball and they equalised.

“They put more intensity and we lost more duels in the second half. It has been an even tie. There have even been moments in which we have been very comfortable. This is a big disappointment but we have to focus on the competitions we have left. We had a great rival in front of us.”

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Despite being knocked out of both the Europa League and Champions League this season, Xavi said Barcelona had made progress compared to last season when they were eliminated by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals.

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He stated, “We have been better than last year. The message is a bit like when they eliminated us in the Champions League. This year we have competed against Bayern [Munich], against Inter. We have been better.

“We have competed in this tie. You have to be very self-critical and think about what needs to be improved. We may not be satisfied, but there has been an exponential change compared to last year. Next year we have to improve. They are big teams and it is hard to compete. Next year we will come back stronger.”

When asked if new signings were needed for Barcelona to compete at the top level again, Xavi replied, “Soon we’ll see if we can sign [players]. What is clear is that we haven’t competed for two years.

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