Xavi talks Araujo, Lewandowski, performance after Intercity 3-4 Barcelona

It was a disappointing display from the La Liga leaders, especially in defence as they let their lead slip on the night on three separate occasions.

Ronald Araujo opened the scoring early in the game but former La Masia ace Oriol Soldevila equalised in the second half. Ousmane Dembele reinstated Barça’s lead only for Soldevila to level things up again.

Raphinha then made it 3-2 before the ex-Barcelona academy man completed his hat-trick to force the match into extra time. Ansu Fati found the back of the net to secure the win for the Catalans, helping them progress to the Round of 16.

It was another display that left a lot to be desired, but Barcelona manager Xavi insisted that he was satisfied with what he saw from his team in Alicante on Wednesday. Below are the excerpts from his interaction with the media after the match.

On the performance: “I’m satisfied with the game, with our team. We know what the Cup is like, the rivals are extra-motivated, everything costs, we have made the game difficult for ourselves… We have been playing well but we are still lacking effectiveness. In general terms, I’m satisfied.”

On Robert Lewandowski’s ban being upheld: “Lewandowski’s absence on Sunday is a setback and it is unexpected, we have no choice but to obey as we did when they told us he could play against Espanyol.”

On areas to improve: “I’m satisfied with the game, but we lacked effectiveness. We need to be more effective both in defense and in attack to decide the games.”

“Intercity it’s a team from a lower category and we had to dominate the game, we did it, but we suffered too much, we have to close the games earlier, it’s the same as against Espanyol.”

On the team’s game: “Our game is good. Against Espanyol, the first 15-30 minutes were brilliant.”

On if he is disappointed with the performance: “We are satisfied with the result and the match. The match was good and positive. What we lack is strength in attack but I’m not disappointed.”

On Lewandowski: “I’m not thinking about him right now. I’m thinking about the match. We have no choice but to accept Lewandowski’s suspension. He helped us when he was able to play and we help him now, we have no other choice…”

On Ronald Araujo: “He is fine and he is doing better. I’m very happy to have him back. He’s a warrior.”

On what went wrong on the night: “We didn’t cover the crosses well, we lacked the strength we had in the other matches. We didn’t move aggressively on either side. We have to learn from our mistakes to compete better.”

“We suffered a lot. We had many chances to win before extra time, but we didn’t.”

On if Barcelona had put themselves in a ridiculous position despite the win: We are in the Copa del Rey, seven La Liga teams left. Were they ridiculous? This is a question that has nothing to do with football…”

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