Xavi slams Barcelona performance against Galatasaray in Europa League home leg

Xavi Hernandez cut a disappointed figure after Barcelona’s first leg draw with Galatasaray. The Blaugrana couldn’t pick up a win in their Europa League Round of 16 first leg, at Camp Nou.

Xavi’s men didn’t put on a particularly strong performance, largely struggling to break down their solid opponents. There were a handful of chances, with Memphis Depay coming close on two occasions, but Galatasaray keeper Iñaki Peña, who is on loan from Barcelona, put on a fine performance, making a number of fine stops.

Barca now head to Istanbul next week needing to win if they want to progress to the quarter-final stage of the Europa League. And Xavi is not overly pleased with the performance his side served up in the first leg.

“It’s not a good result, playing at home,” he said in his post-match press conference. “In the second half, we have been something better but when you lower the intensity, you lower everything.

“In the end of the second half, we have been better. We have divided more, we have played with pure wingers.

“I have put on Pique to divide more, he does that more than Ronald.

“Iñaki has been spectacular, but we have not been like in the recent games.

“It’s a null combat. We will go to play in Istanbul as we did in Naples.”

Xavi did make changes for the first leg, but Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembélé were both brought on by half time. Barca missed Sergio Busquets in midfield, with the veteran starting from the bench. It will be interesting to see what Xavi now goes with in the away leg with a win required.

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