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Xavi dismisses failure tag

21 February 2013 18:32

Barcelona star Xavi has refuted suggestions his team's season would be a failure if they were unable to reach the Champions League last eight.

Goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari ensured Barca suffered a 2-0 loss to AC Milan in the Champions League round-of-16 first-leg at the San Siro on Wednesday.

Xavi praised AC Milan's terrific defending throughout the clash, but is rueing momentary lapses in defence which cost his side.

He told AS on Thursday: "It was a long journey back for the players and coaching staff. The first goal was a calamity, we just weren't paying attention. We made two errors in defence and because of that we have to try and overturn the result.

"We just couldn't get into the game, they were spectacular in defence but we didn't create any danger.

"The result is very, very bad for us, but this club has never pulled off a historical comeback and we'd love to be the team that does it. We went out to Inter (in 2010) and we owe the fans something. We needed to compete better in the second half."

Barcelona have dominated La Liga this season and appear certain to be crowned champions with around three months to go.

But elimination from the Champions League at the last-16 stage could be seen by some fans as a failure, though Xavi disputes such a notion.

"I don't like the word failure at all," he said. "It wouldn't be a failure. If you try you are never a failure. It would be disappointing, yes, but failure is not the right word.

"A 2-0 defeat is one of the worst results you can return home with, but we will give it a try.

"Yesterday we really struggled. We'll have to open up the pitch and create space and take shots from outside the area and be careful of the counter-attack.

"Milan played the perfect match. We weren't at the races and they worked very well. This is what European football is like. We're going to try and turn it around at home whilst knowing it'll be very difficult."

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Info

Milan

D W L W D

2 - 0

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
20 February 2013
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
2 - 0
On aggregate
2 - 4
Venue
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Milano)
Attendance
79532

Goals

K. Boateng 57'
(assist by C. Zapata) 
1 - 0
S. Muntari 81'
(assist by S. El Shaarawy) 
2 - 0

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
5
2
3 57'
18
4
8
6
16 54'
10
17
Coach: Tito Vilanova

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
19
12 90+1'
1
2
22
76
36
# Player Bookings
9
14
11
13
19
25
37

Sunday 21 December

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Saturday 20 December

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Friday 19 December

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18:58
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16:58
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