Xavi Hernandez has admitted that Tottenham Hotspur were the better side for parts of the game on Tuesday but added that he was happy with the way his side finished the match.
With Ange Postecoglou changing all ten outfield players for the Joan Gamper Trophy clash from the side that took to the field against Shakhtar Donetsk on Sunday, many would have expected Barcelona to ease to a victory.
However, the visitors dominated proceedings until the hour mark despite being without many of their key players, with the Catalan side struggling to match Tottenham’s intensity and aggression.
The Spurs players did eventually tire in the final 20 minutes of game as Xavi rang the changes, with the home side turning around a 2-1 deficit to emerge 4-2 winners in the end.
Postecoglou remarked after the game that he was pleased with his side’s showing, stating that it was to be expected that his players would run out of steam towards the end since this was their first 90 minutes against a side of Barca’s quality (Football.London).
Xavi was impressed by Tottenham against Barcelona
Xavi has also praised Tottenham for the intensity and the pace with which they played on Tuesday.
The 43-year-old told Barca’s official website: “We ended the game really well but I don’t think we played as well as we did against Real Madrid or AC Milan. We played against a good team, with plenty of pace and intensity and they had the better of us at times.”
Spurs Web Opinion
This might have been a friendly but it was clear that both teams were taking it seriously.
So, the Tottenham players would take plenty of confidence from the fact that they dominated a full-strength Barca side for large parts of the game despite being without key players.
This sort of display will help Postecoglou and the coaching staff get more of a buy-in from the squad, who will start to believe that the manager’s principles can work even against top-quality opposition.
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