Xavi Says Barcelona's Loss to Bayern a 'Step Backwards'

Xavi Says Barcelona's Loss to Bayern a 'Step Backwards'
The soccer stadium (Allianz Arena) of the team FC Bayern Munich at night in red colors — Photo by JimmyR

Barcelona boss Xavi says Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich was a “step backwards” for his side who he claims were the better side.

Bayern scored twice in the second half from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane to clinch the three points in Robert Lewandowski’s return to Allianz Arena.

The Blaugrana had the better of the first-half chances, having 18-13 shots for the game with both sides finishing with four on target, which Barca edged possession 54-46 per cent, leaving Xavi frustrated.

“We have to focus on the positives from this game and keep working as we look forward,” Xavi told Movistar. “This is a step backwards, but we leave here with an undeserved defeat.”

He added: “We were better than Bayern today. We forgave them too much, whereas they do not forgive that is the difference.

“We had six or seven very clear chances. Their first goal came from an error in marking a corner; the second is also an error on our behalf.

“The first half today was totally ours and the result does not reflect what happened, but the Champions League is like that. If you forgive then you end up paying for it.”

Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann admitted his side were bettered in the first half but was delighted with their second-half response.

“In the first half, we left the centre open a little bit too much,” Nagelsmann said. “We didn’t really have the best opportunities. Barca had the better chances because we were missing the final chance. Still, we can rely on Manuel Neuer who could save some great shots.

“In the second half, we were able to defend a lot better because we looked at a couple of things during the break; I was very happy with that. We were strong in the second half, they were strong in the first half.”

Elsewhere, Inter Milan drew level with Barca in the group with a 2-0 win away to Czech champions Viktoria Plzen with goals from Edin Dzeko and Denzel Dumfries.

Liverpool needed a late Joel Matip goal to edge past Ajax 2-1 at Anfield, while Tottenham went down 2-0 at Sporting Lisbon.

FC Porto suffered a stunning 4-0 home loss to Club Brugge, while there were wins for German clubs Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt, triumphing 2-0 over Atletico Madrid and 1-0 at Olympique Marseille respectively.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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