Barcelona will not complete a domestic treble this season, having been comprehensibly knocked out of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday evening by Real Madrid.
The hosts had the better of the play in the first half, but Vinicius Jr’s opener just before the break killed Barcelona, and Karim Benzema adding a second minutes into the second period meant that they never recovered.
Xavi Hernandez admitted that Benzema’s goal was the turning point of the match, as per MD.
“In the first half we were very good. We should have stopped their counter attack for their first goal. The second just after half time killed us. We have to be self-critical and continue.”
Barcelona were without four key first team players in Andreas Christensen, Frenkie De Jong, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele, but Xavi did not want to use their absences as an excuse for the result.
“It would sound like an excuse if we talk about injuries. We competed very well in the first leg and in the first half. I feel proud about that. I already said that Real Madrid were the favourites, they are the recent Champions League winners.”
Barcelona will turn their attention solely towards La Liga, where they are in a commanding position to win their first title in four years.
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Analysis: With Harry Kane out of the running, who is Real Madrid’s best option to replace Karim Benzema?