Barcelona and Real Madrid played out a thrilling El Clasico in the first ever Supercopa. The game’s tension was palpable throughout, with Xavi expressing his satisfaction despite conceding to their bitter rivals
Barcelona’s Xavi was pleased despite Real Madrid’s 100th El Clasico win in a thrilling Supercopa de Espana thriller. The match ended 3-3 after extra time. Read more in detail here: real madrid schedule.
Despite losing 3-2 after extra time in a dramatic Spanish Supercopa semifinal in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez praised his team’s effort.
After Luuk de Jong and Ansu Fati had balanced out goals from Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde scored the game-winning goal in the 98th minute to give Madrid their 100th Clasico victory.
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Xavi, on the other hand, was pleased with what he saw in defeat on a day when Pedri and Ansu returned from long-term injuries and €55 million acquisition Ferran Torres made his Barca debut.
“I’m unhappy and irritated because the game was there for us to take,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde remarked in his post-game press conference.
“In the first 20 minutes, we had a complex, but we got over it.” It had been a day for bravery. This Barcelona team is capable of competing against anybody. We didn’t receive the outcome we desired, but it was still a step in the right direction.
“The emotions are paradoxical since we are so close to winning.” I’m disappointed because it’s a Clasico loss and we’ve lost a trophy, but we controlled Madrid for long periods of time.
“We are lacking in experience, patience, and accountability. We made blunders. We could have halted [Madrid’s] counterattack and handled the ball more responsibly. But we’re getting there.”
Despite the fact that Barcelona lost against Real Madrid, coach Xavi Hernandez stated he was pleased with what he witnessed. AFP/FAYEZ NURELDINE/Getty Images
At the King Fahd Stadium, Barcelona had 20 shots to Madrid’s 14 and had 53 percent possession. Benzema struck the crossbar in the second half, and Rodrygo Goes missed a late chance to make it 4-2 in extra time, but Madrid had the better opportunities.
Although Carlo Ancelotti disagreed with Xavi’s appraisal of the game, he praised Barcelona’s performance in Riyadh.
“I disagree [with Xavi], the game was level, they had more possession, and we exploited the counter,” Madrid coach Santiago Solari stated.
“We deserved to win in the first half, but we succumbed due to unfortunate luck.” The second half was more equal, but I don’t believe Madrid or Barca overpowered either other.
“We sat at the counter for a while. The counter worked well. We made several excellent plays, and the three goals were very impressive. To be honest, it was a level playing field. It was a terrific presentation, and we did a nice job of portraying Spanish football. Barcelona, in my perspective, also performed well.”
Madrid, who will play either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao in the final on Sunday, welcomed back Dani Carvajal after defeating Barcelona but losing David Alaba late in the game due to injury.
Ancelotti said, “We hope Alaba will be ready for the weekend.”
After recovering from a thigh injury, Barca midfielder Pedri came off the bench in the second half to make his first appearance since September, while Ansu scored his fifth goal of the season as he returned from a hamstring condition that had kept him out since November.
Torres, who joined from Manchester City last month, also made his full debut, and Xavi feels all three players will be crucial to the club’s aspirations of finishing in the top four in LaLiga this season. They’re now in sixth place.
“Those three are going to be really beneficial to us,” Xavi remarked. “After a timeout, Pedri and Ferran need minutes and match rhythm, but Ansu has responded with a goal. This season, everyone of them will make a significant contribution.”
Barcelona will have a free weekend while Madrid is in Saudi Arabia preparing for the final on Sunday. They’ll play Athletic in the Copa del Rey the following Wednesday.
Alex Kirkland, an ESPN FC journalist, contributed to this article.
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