‘Won’t sit on our lead’

15 April,2024 07:45 AM IST |  Barcelona  |  Agencies

Despite having goal advantage after 3-2 win over PSG in quarter-final 1st leg, Barca boss Xavi insists team will continue to attack on home turf tonight

Barcelona players train ahead of their quarter-final second leg against PSG in Barcelona yesterday. Pic/AFP

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said Monday his team's Champions League quarter-final second leg clash against Paris Saint-Germain would be similar to the first leg thriller. The five-time champions edged Luis Enrique's PSG side 3-2 in a Paris blockbuster last week and are aiming to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2019. Xavi said the second leg at Barcelona's temporary Olympic Stadium home on the city's Montjuic hill would produce more of the same spectacle. "We're not a team that will sit on our lead, we want to take the ball off PSG and win the game," Xavi told a news conference.

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Xavi Hernandez

Tough test here

"I hope we are at our best, they will test us to the limit - I see a game very similar to the first leg. It's the Champions League, it's Paris, and a game in which no one will be holding back," he added. Xavi said PSG's coach Luis Enrique, who was on the Barcelona bench the last time the Catalans won the Champions League in 2015, would send his team out to harry the hosts. "Montjuic's [atmosphere] has to seem like the big nights at Camp Nou," continued Xavi. "Luis Enrique will not hold back, he will come here to press - we have to show a lot of personality to reach the semi-finals," he said. Xavi, who announced in January he was leaving at the end of the season, has led a resurgent Barcelona on a 12-game unbeaten run since.

Sense of liberation for Barca

"Me and my players, everyone has been liberated [by my decision]," said the coach. "Everyone has felt more of a sense of belonging towards the club, and I think it has gone phenomenally." Barcelona midfielder Pedri agreed that his team would have to play to win. "We have this slender lead but we have to go out there as if we didn't have that advantage," said Pedri.

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