Xavi gives verdict on Real Madrid’s comeback win over Man City
Barcelona coach Xavi has commented on Real Madrid’s historic Champions League comeback victory against Manchester City, hinting that the Whites were not the deserving winners.
The win over City marked Madrid’s third Champions League comeback this season, with Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea being their previous two victims.
Real Madrid and Manchester City squared off in the second leg of their semi-final bout on Wednesday night (May 4). At the Santiago Bernabeu, Los Blancos had to overturn the 4-3 defeat they endured in the first leg, which was easier said than done.
In the 73rd minute, Manchester City scored the opening goal of the game, doubling the pressure on Madrid.
Instead of crumbling under pressure, the hosts upped the ante and scored two quick goals through Rodrygo in the dying embers of normal time. Karim Benzema then converted a penalty he won in the fifth minute of extra time to put Real Madrid 3-1 up on the night. The scoreline remained unchanged until the final whistle as the Spanish champions clinched a 6-5 aggregate win.
When asked to comment on Madrid’s recent heroics, Barcelona boss Xavi hailed their relentless fighting spirit, but refrained from calling them deserving winners.
Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, the former Barcelona midfielder said:
“It would cost us more, because we have a different style. In Anoeta it cost us and we got the game, in Villarreal the feeling was of a draw and we won. Madrid has that thing. They start to believe it and they have that positive dynamic. It’s their DNA. Football has these things, the one who deserves it doesn’t always win.”
Having already secured the La Liga title, Los Blancos currently sit 15 points ahead of their bitterest rivals Barcelona. The Blaugrana are next in action against Real Betis on Saturday (May 7), while Madrid play Atletico Madrid on Sunday (May 8).
Barcelona defender Dani Alves congratulates Real Madrid and Rodrygo
The veteran right-back believes that luck does not exist in football, stating that only the deserving ones prevail in the game.
The 39-year-old also praised Rodrygo following his brace against City, citing the importance of Brazilian magic in the global game.
While Alves’ thoughtful comments won’t dilute the rivalry between Barca and Madrid, the Brazilian camp might benefit from the improved camaraderie ahead of the World Cup.