Despite all the club’s efforts in the transfer window, all the hope and optimism, Barcelona have once again fallen flat on the big stage after their 3-3 draw against Inter Milan at the Camp Nou.
A shambolic defensive display has now all but guaranteed another embarrassing exit from the Champions League group stages for Barcelona, as they are set to appear in the Europa League for two seasons in a row for the first time since the 1970s.
A catastrophic international break, that saw injuries for all of Barcelona’s first-choice defenders left them with a very shaky backline heading into a gruelling October schedule.
They still dominated the ball and created chances in all three games against Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, yet their ineptitude in the crucial moments has now come back to bite them. Here is what Xavi Hernandez had to say on another disappointing European result for the Blaugrana.
On the result: “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.”
On what went wrong: “Today the match was under control and in the 50th minute there was a clear defensive mistake, you go back to the draw and you have to start again with what it had cost you, mentally it’s hard for us…”
On Dembele: “Dembélé can make a difference, he is a player who can make a difference, he gives us a lot on the wing and he is fast, I have a lot of confidence in him.”
On the decision-making in attack: “Dembele often makes the wrong choice, but it’s not just him. When we get to the final third we have to make better decisions, that’s very difficult for Dembele.”
On Inter time-wasting: “It’s no excuse for today. We didn’t draw because of that, we drew because of our mistakes because the game was in our hands.”
On what lies ahead: “Let’s hope that today’s game doesn’t affect us for El Clásico in terms of mentality, the players have given their all today.The goal for this season is still the same, to win trophies.”
On his message to the fans: “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.”
Source: Barça TV+