Xavi Rages at Barcelona After Real Betis Defeat

Xavi Hernandez

Getty Xavi Hernandez watches on against Real Betis.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez admitted he was “very angry” after suffering a first La Liga defeat since replacing Ronald Koeman as first-team coach at the Camp Nou.

The Catalan giants were beaten 1-0 by Real Betis courtesy of a second-half goal from Juanmi. It’s a costly defeat for Xavi’s men who slip seven points behind Los Verdiblancos in the table, although they do have a game in hand on Betis.

Xavi offered his thoughts after the game and could not hide his frustration at the way his team had allowed Juanmi to score the only goal of the game in the 79th minute from a quick counter-attack, as reported by Joan Poqui at Mundo Deportivo.

“We deserved more, it’s a shame not to have gotten something out of this game, I was there to win it,” he said. “I am very angry with the goal, because we had worked on these types of plays. That goal cannot happen to us. These transitions must be stopped, we know that they activate very fast transitions.”

Barca did have the chance to equalize almost immediately after Juanmi had opened the scoring. However, 19-year-old winger Ez Abde managed to blaze an effort over the crossbar from close range.

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Xavi Tells Barca to ‘Compete Like Animals’ at Bayern

Xavi must now pick his players up quickly from the defeat as the Catalan giants face another crunch fixture on Wednesday, December 4 in the Champions League. Barca play their final group game against Bayern Munich and need a win to progress to the last 16.

The Barca boss is well aware of the challenge facing his team. Bayern have yet to drop points in Group E and have already confirmed top spot in the group. However, Xavi is refusing to give up hope ahead of the trip to the Allianz Arena.

“I have told the players that I am proud. Now you have to compete like animals to win in Munich,” he added. “We have no choice but to go to win, then we will see.”

Barca can also qualify if Benfica fail to beat Dynamo Kiev at home in the other game in Group E. If Benfica and Barca finish level on points then the Portuguese side will progress courtesy of a superior head-to-head record.

Jordi Alba ‘Confident’ Barca Can Turn Things Around

Left-back Jordi Alba also spoke out after the defeat and is confident Barcelona can turn things around despite their latest setback. Alba says the team are working well but still have a way to go, as reported by Marca.

“We have to have more patience with the ball in their half. We’ve shown good things, but it’s clear that we have to improve,” he said. “Barcelona are always obliged to win, especially at home. And we aren’t doing it. It’s also proving very difficult to win on the road. I’m convinced we’re going to turn things around because we’re working well. We’re learning new concepts. But this is a step backwards against a direct rival.”

The defeat to Real Betis saw Alba hit a landmark in his Barcelona career. The 32-year-old made his 400th appearance for the Catalan giants, becoming just the 15th player in history to reach that milestone for the club.

READ NEXT: Xavi Rejects Player Koeman Wanted at Barcelona: Report


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