Barcelona manager Xavi hit out at what he felt was a “lack of ambition” from his side after they snuck past Real Betis to book their spot in the Supercopa de Espana final on Thursday.
Robert Lewandowski gave Barcelona the lead before half-time but the Blaugrana slowed down dramatically after the interval, allowing Nabil Fekir to net an equaliser to send the game to extra-time, where both teams would go on to score once again.
In the end, Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s heroics were needed in a penalty shoot-out, but Xavi was furious that his team even allowed things to get to that stage in the first place.
Asked what frustrated him about his side’s performance, Xavi told the press: “You have to show ambition. The players thought that, at 1-0, it was easy, that we had a great team and we were destined to be in the final.
“The first half was ours. Betis dominated us in some phases of the second half. Our legs started to feel heavy, and it cost us. We dominated in extra-time but, with Loren’s fantastic play, they equalised. We made life very difficult for ourselves. We didn’t know how to defend as well on the day of the Metropolitano.
“We haven’t been mature in the game. We’ve been lacking since the World Cup break. We don’t know the reasons why it’s happening to us, perhaps it’s that there are young players in the team.
“The path is that of the first half, not the second. We lacked mentality. The first was fantastic, but in the second, we were not at the necessary level, especially without the ball. Betis dominated us.”
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With Ter Stegen to thank, Barcelona booked their place in the final, where they will meet Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
“I always want to play and beat the best,” Xavi added. “Real Madrid are one of the best. We want to win it, but it does not change our season. We are fighting for the three titles that will remain, whatever happens.
“I’m happy to play a Clasico in Saudi Arabia, where we had two objectives. The first was to reach the final and the second is to win the Supercopa. It’s a title, but it wouldn’t change us much. It would give us more confidence.”