Xavi / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Xavi Hernández: “We have to attack and score early”

“I’m fairly optimistic despite the 2-0 from the away leg,” said Xavi to Mundo Deportivo earlier this week when asked about FC Barcelona’s chances of overcoming the two-goal deficit on Tuesday against AC Milan. “We still have 90 minutes, maybe even 120 minutes. A lot can happen in a match. In any given moment they can score on you, they are talented. They are very good in the air and they take advantage of any error you make,” noted Xavi. The Barça vice-captain went on to analyze what his team needs to do in order to counteract Milan’s style of play: “we need to be careful, we can’t lose possession, we need to avoid giving them any opportunities to counterattack, we can’t commit stupid fouls, our attacks need to have purpose, we have to open up the pitch.

When asked if he thinks Barça will eliminate Milan, Xavi was cautious: “well, it’s the Champions League, our pride is a bit hurt from the unjust and excessive result from the away leg and from the two defeats to Madrid and we want to recover that sense of winning, of competing, of being a big team. There’s no better match for that than the one against AC Milan.

“We’ve played our style of football in different ways. The day we faced Spartak, we were losing and we played with three at the back. Perhaps Tito Vilanova has something in mind for the match on Tuesday, opening up the pitch or having a fixed centre forward, I don’t know. But we have to attack and score early.”

Read the intreview in its entirety here.

 

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Iniesta: “We will make it through to the next round”

“I would put my hand in the fire as many times as I had to for my team. I have absolute confidence that we can do it,” said Andrés Iniesta on the upcoming Champions League showdown with AC Milan. The player, who made these statements during a promotional event earlier this week, added: “We have an adverse result, it’s not good, obviously, but our mentality and our conviction needs to be that we can turn it around. It will be difficult but not impossible. We have to play this match as it if was a final. That’s what our mentality needs to be from the first minute to the last.”

The FC Barcelona midfielder is also convinced that the Camp Nou faithful will get behind the team on Tuesday: “I think the fans are confident that we can turn the tie around.”

Read the interview in its entirety here.