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Xavi: ‘There were positives and negatives from semi-final win’

Sports Mole

Barcelona boss Xavi reacts to his side’s penalty-shootout success over Real Betis in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup.

Barcelona boss Xavi has said that he was “very satisfied” with his side’s first-half performance against Real Betis in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup but disappointed with a “poor” second period.

The Catalan outfit were 1-0 ahead at the interval courtesy of Robert Lewandowski‘s close-range finish, but Real Betis levelled in the 77th minute through Nabil Fekir, which forced extra-time.

Ansu Fati put Barcelona back ahead in the 93rd minute, but Loren Moron then equalised for Manuel Pellegrini‘s side, with penalties being needed to determine which side would advance to the final.

Barcelona scored all four of their efforts through Lewandowski, Franck Kessie, Fati and Pedri, while Real Betis missed two through Juanmi and William Carvalho, allowing Xavi’s side to win on penalties.

Real Betis's Aitor Ruibal in action with Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele on January 12, 2023© Reuters

Xavi has said that there both positives and negatives to take from the semi-final in Saudi Arabia.

“Real Betis played very well, but we could have decided the match earlier. I’m happy to have reached the final. We lost the ball too much. We still have to kill off matches. We didn’t defend as well as we did vs Atleti,” Xavi told reporters during his post-match press conference.

“I was very satisfied at half-time. After that, Betis dominated and we suffered. We should have killed it off in the first half.

“We have to be self-critical. The second half was poor, and it’s not the way forward. We saw two faces from the team. Fantastic first half, and then we were not at the required level.

FC Barcelona coach Xavi reacts on January 8, 2023 Read more – Sports Mole

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