Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has blamed the unavailability of 2 key players behind La Liga leader’s failure against Manchester United.
Barca’s Thursday night setback to Man United, according to Xavi, was mostly due to the absence of Pedri and Gavi.
The La Liga leaders were defeated 4-3 on the road by the Red Devils, and as a result, they were eliminated from the Europa League after their 2-1 loss at Old Trafford.
Robert Lewandowski’s penalty had given Barca the lead before the break, but United rallied in the second half, with goals from Fred and Antony to seal the victory.
The Catalan team was struggling to produce more opportunities in the 2nd leg match than they did at Nou Camp the previous week.
As per the boss, It might be accounted for by the absences of Pedri and Gavi. The latter was suspended, and the former was replaced in the 2-2 tie last week due to an injury that prevented him from playing in the rematch.
Xavi comments post United defeat
Despite the fact that both players were still young, Xavi believed their influence at Old Trafford was missed.
After the match, the Barcelona boss said: “I think we lacked calm and patience – we started the second half badly.
“We were dominating the game and controlling it but we lost some duels in the second half; more game management [was needed]. We could have been more intense. Small details”
“In general, we needed a little bit more, we lacked something in our game. We were missing Pedri and Gavi and I think it showed. We can be proud of how we competed against a really big side because we had an excellent first half.”
The Barcelona legend was also asked what did the La Liga leaders miss by not having Pedri and Gavi.
Xavi said: “Well the way they take their time on the ball. They turn, look around, will get on the ball and we missed them.”
“Sergi Roberto and Franck Kessie came in and did well but Gavi and Pedri are key players for us. I think if they had played today we would not have had as many issues.”
Next up for Barcelona is a trip to Estadio Mediterraneo as the league leaders lock horns with Almeria on Sunday.