Xavi Hernández is clear that there is no time for regrets about Saturday’s result and the fact that it means retaining the title would be a “miracle”, with Tuesday’s game against Chelsea looming large: “we are playing for the chance to make the Champions League final, that says everything, The fans are intelligent enough to know that we will be playing for so much on Tuesday and we really want them behind us, as they always have been on the big occasions to help us fight back”.

Five out of six

Although he accepts that “the league title is practically impossible”, Xavi insists that the team can be proud of the season so far: “the league title might be lost, but we’ve got a Cup Final ahead, we’ve already won three titles and we can still reach the Champions League final. Of the six competitions we were in this season, we still have the chance to come away with five – we are just missing the Cup and the Champions League. We’ll keep fighting, because we know that it’s in our own hands to finish with a good season”.

Gracious in defeat

Looking back at Saturday’s defeat, Xavi believes: “we didn’t play a bad game, but we were not at the excellent level which we normally are. We had the ball and dominated, but we didn’t have the chances we usually do and Madrid just took advantage of that”. Finally, Xavi insisted that Barça could still hold their heads high: “we always try and win, we are competitive but what characterises us is that we also know how to deal with defeat – we did after we lost the Cup Final and we congratulated them then - that’s just part of the game and that’s the way we are”.

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