Xavi on El Marcador / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Xavi Hernández recognised that “we suffered more than we thought we would against a super team, even though we dominated up until the 15th minute of the second half.” the midfielder admitted that the team showed their best play in the away game: “at the Bernabéu we were superior, today, not so much, but be won the tie. It’s time to enjoy it and celebrate.”

On Barça’s drop of form after Madrid’s goals, Xavi said it was a mere “mental problem” and that “the team disconnected a little bit and we lost control.”

The vice-captain praise the support shown by the fans: “the supporters were with us and the mosaic started us off in spectacular fashion. Sometimes you forget what this team is accomplishing, but it’s extremely difficult and we have to enjoy it. Seeing how difficult it was [reaching the semis], we enjoy it all the more.”

Injuries and polemic calls

One of the sour parts of the match were the injuries to Alexis and Andrés Iniesta: “both are very important absences, especially because both of them were giving a lot to the team. The boss will have to solve the puzzle and replace them, but we have players in the reserve side that are very good and we’ll make it to the end of the season [with a chance to win].”

The midfielder also wanted to talk about the polemic calls from the referee: “the referee issue is relative. When you finish a game you think that he was against you but Madrid thinks the same thing, even though the red card [play] from Lass was obvious. I think the ref called the game fairly.”

The Masía graduate, who turned 32 today, said: “I’m really enjoying this period. From now on every season is an extra year. I love Barça, they have the best team in the world and I hope to remain here for many years to come.”

"We’re happy, the semifinals await"

The defenders Alves and Piqué also weighed in on the game. The Brazilian fullback highlighted Real Madrid’s play: “they were phenomenal, they pressed us really well.” The Catalan defender said: “we’re happy, the semifinals await.”