Xavi: Barcelona needs Champions League reset

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Xavi Hernández, the head coach of Barcelona, has called for a much-needed “reset” following Barcelona’s surprising defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

In a surprising turn of events, Barcelona finds itself in dire straits, according to Xavi Hernández, following a shocking 1-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League clash held in Hamburg this past Tuesday.

The pivotal moment in the match came just before half-time when Danylo Sikan netted the sole goal of the game, leaving Barça’s hopes of securing a spot in the competition’s knockout stages in jeopardy.

Despite their dominance in possession, the Spanish champions struggled to make a mark, managing just one shot on target throughout the game.

Even with the introduction of star players like Pedri, Lamine Yamal, and João Félix in the second half, Barcelona failed to mount a successful comeback. The defeat has sparked conversations about the need for a significant reset within the team.

“We deserved to lose,” Barcelona coach said in his post-game news conference. “We have to be honest. We played badly and nothing we had planned came off.

“The level of our performances is really low at the moment. This was one of the worst games of my two years in charge. We have to be self-critical.

“There was a reaction in the second half but it wasn’t enough. This competition demands your best and we were not at it today. It is clear a step back.

“We are angry. Confidence has dropped, we are in a bit of a rut and we need a reset.

Following their recent 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad in LaLiga, Barcelona’s head coach Xavi Hernández did not mince words when he labeled the team’s performance against the Basque side as “unacceptable” and criticized the lack of intensity displayed by his players.

However, the disappointment didn’t end there. In their Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk, who have been forced to play their European matches in Hamburg due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Xavi expressed even deeper disappointment with the manner in which his team performed on the field.

“I wouldn’t say it was an intensity problem this time,” he added. “We didn’t understand what the game needed. We lost a lot of balls, we didn’t attack well, we didn’t deal with crosses well and we paid for our mistakes.”

Barça remain on top of Group G with nine points from four games, level with FC Porto, while Shakhtar have six points and Royal Antwerp remain pointless.

“It’s a shame because we wanted to book our place in the last 16,” Xavi said. “We still have qualification in our own hands, though, and that’s the big positive.

“We have the next game at home, against Porto, and we can seal it there. We have to restore the confidence. We’re having a small dip right now.

“Not so long ago we were playing very good football — it’s a mental issue.”

Barça defender João Cancelo called on the team to show a reaction on Sunday when they host Alaves in LaLiga, where they are currently third, four points behind surprise leaders Girona and two off Real Madrid.

“We have played really badly in the last two games,” Cancelo said. “Against Real Sociedad, we didn’t deserve to win and today we didn’t play well enough to get the points.

“Now we have a game this weekend to come back with a better mentality before the international break.”

 

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