Barcelona coach Xavi predicted he would have a sleepless night after watching his team fail to beat ten-man Sevilla on Tuesday, but insisted he was still happy with the overall performance.
Barça played almost half an hour with a player advantage after Sevilla defender Jules Kounde was sent off. However, with the scoreline already tied at 1-1, they were unable to find a winning goal and head into La Liga’s winter break still trailing the top four by two points.
“It’s bittersweet and it’ll be hard for me to sleep. We had to win, especially with a man advantage,” Xavi reflected, via Marca.
“We have to be calmer when we’re a man up. We were very good in the first half, and the team are growing. We’re pressing when we lost the ball and circulating it better.
“We needed to win to move into the Champions League places, but I’m proud despite the draw. We weren’t lucky. I’m very proud of everyone. This Barcelona look like the team I want to have.
“A point does nothing for us. The worst thing about tonight is the result, but we’re on the right track. The feelings are good, the result isn’t. We’ll pick up again in the new year.”
Barça players now have a break for Christmas until 2 January when they travel to Mallorca.
Xavi will hope that the rest will allow his players to recharge themselves for a crucial second half of the season. Missing out on Champions League football for the first time since 2003 is not an option for the club as the loss of invaluable revenue would further worsen the financial crisis.