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Xavi Hernández can finally look forward to managing his team in the knockout stage of a Champions League after missing out in the last two seasons. "I am very happy for the team and the club" he said after the 2-1 defeat of Porto. "We needed this after two years. We reacted well and displayed a winning mentality on several occasions. We deserved this win."
"We needed be more daring" he said in reference to the vast improvement after the break. "It was time to push further up the pitch. I'm very happy because the second half was really good."
"This was an important step in the right direction. It means a lot to the club. That's the first of our targets achieved in the Champions League. It's has calmed us down and boosted our confidence, especially that of the players."
João Cancelo contributed a goal and an assist in what Xavi calls a "superb game. He made the difference. He was the free man and in the second half we interpreted that well."
Another outstanding performer was Iñaki Peña, who did a wonderful job in the absence of Ter Stegen. "This was a very important game for him" said the coach. "And his response was extraordinary. Not just with his saves but because of the way he built up the plays from the back. That was not by chance."