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Barcelona manager explains what “made all the difference” vs Manchester United

Xavi, head coach of FC Barcelona, looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League knockout round play-off leg two match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona at Old Trafford on February 23, 2023 in Manchester, England.
Xavi, head coach of FC Barcelona. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Xavi admits “fine details” made the difference for Manchester United vs Barcelona

Barcelona head coach Xavi has admitted that “fine details” made the difference for Manchester United in their comeback win against the La Liga leaders.

The Blaugrana visited Old Trafford on Thursday (23 February) in the second leg of the Europa League playoff tie. In the end, the Red Devils managed to qualify for the round of 16 with a 2-1 victory.

Speaking to the media after the loss via Mirror, Xavi believes that United were too much to handle for the Camp Nou side after the break and praised the Red Devils’ performance.

Xavi admits Barcelona were unable to match Manchester United in the second half.
Xavi admits Barcelona were unable to match Manchester United in the second half. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

“United were very intense in that second half. They are in very good form at the moment and are very good at home. It is those fine details that made all the difference.”

In the first half, Bruno Fernandes had the opportunity to give us the lead in the opening minutes. But Marc-Andre ter Stegen denied the Portuguese the chance to find the back of the net.

Subsequently, Barcelona took control of the proceedings. For the first 45 minutes, the Blaugrana were the dominant team and the Red Devils hardly managed to create any chances and did not look threatening.

Robert Lewandowski scored from the spot in the 18th minute after the Camp Nou side were awarded a penalty. The Spanish giants could have doubled their lead before the half but did not capitalise on some of our mistakes.

Erik ten Hag brought on Antony for Wout Weghorst at the start of the second half. The Old Trafford side were immediately in the driving seat and found the equaliser through Fred.

From then on, it was the Manchester-based club that controlled the game. We were on top of the La Liga table toppers and took the lead in the 73rd minute.

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United hardly put a foot wrong in the second half and Ten Hag was able to change the game after an abysmal first half. The gaffer has shown his tactical astuteness in previous fixtures as well. Hopefully, long may it continue.

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