Leaked footage has shown Barcelona defenders ignoring Xavi’s warnings regarding the long balls that Inter Milan like to play.
The footage was captured inside the tunnel at half-time, as both teams came back out for the second half. Xavi was heard giving out some last-minute instructions in order to preserve his side’s narrow 1-0 lead.
Xavi said: “When (Andre) Onana – Inter’s goalkeeper – has the ball, you all have to come back and defend like animals.
“It will happen. When Onana has it, they kick it long. They did it once already and you guys were stuck on the wing, god damnit. Come back to defend… come back!” You can watch the footage below.
However, the instructions appeared to go in one ear and out of the other as Inter went on to punish Barcelona with three second-half goals.
The third goal scored by Robin Gosens will have annoyed Xavi the most as it was as he described to his players during the leaked footage.
Goalkeeper Andre Onana kicked his goal kick long over the top for Lautaro Martinez, who was waiting on the wing.
As the ball reached the Argentine, Barcelona’s veteran defender Gerard Pique rushed over to him whilst teammate Frenkie de Jong was running back.
However, Martinez was able to play an inch-perfect ball across the penalty area for an unmarked Gosens to finish off the move. That goal made it 3-2 to the Italian giants.
Image Credit: AlamyBarcelona’s defensive incapabilities were on show for the majority of the second half.
Pique appeared to allow a ball to float over the defence in the hope that it would reach his goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen, however, Nicolo Barella was there to nip in ahead of the German and made it 1-1.
After that, it was Eric Garcia’s turn to falter, the Spaniard failed to deal with another ball into the box, and Martinez was there at the right time to put Inter ahead.
Luckily for the Camp Nou club, their star man Robert Lewandowski saved their blushes, not once but twice. Thanks to the Polish striker, Barcelona’s thin hopes of making the round of 16 are still alive.
Image Credit: AlamyIn order for them to get through, Xavi’s side have to beat Bayern Munich and hope Inter doesn’t win against Viktoria Plzen, a win for the Italians will send Barcelona to the Europa League again.
Xavi said after the Inter match: “I’m very disappointed, sad, frustrated, I’m angry. I have to be self-critical, we don’t deserve to play in the Champions League. It hurts me, but it’s the truth.
“I apologise to the fans because we made the mistakes, we had set our minds not to fail, and we have failed, so we have to apologise to the fans, who have been wonderful. I want to tell them that we will work to turn this situation around and win titles.”