Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez listens to a question during a news conference at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona February 21, 2013. (Photo : REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino(SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER))
Barcelona's stunning loss to Milan on Wednesday shocked the world and put the Spanish leaders into a big whole heading into the second leg.
Barcelona dominated possession throughout the match, but saw its midfield stifled by a disciplined Milan side. After Milan's opening goal it seemed that Barcelona lost control of the match and was unable to maintain its strategy.
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"We had the match under control in the first half but we didn't play well in the second. We fell apart after they scored the opener, it was out of control. We have to improve and learn from this," said defenseman Gerard Pique after the loss.
"This was a very negative result. When you don't show up for a game, this can happen," stated midfielder Andres Iniesta.
His partner Xavi played his first game for Blaugrana after an injury and added that "We let in two goals that could have been avoided... The result is a very bad one, but this team has never given up."
Xavi added, "In the second half we did not play as we normally do, whereas Milan had the game of their dreams."
Despite the loss, Xavi still believes that the team can make a major comeback in the second leg. "We know it's not going to be easy to get through to the next round, but we will try," he said. "We have to be more united than ever."
Assistant Coach Jordi Roura seconds Xavi's opinion. ''If there is a team that can come back it is us. This result isn't disastrous. It's really awful to lose 2-0, really bad," said Roura. "But I think this squad deserves faith. We are convinced we can progress, because we are playing at home (next month), because our fans will support us, and because we're playing on our pitch, which is a pitch worthy of this competition."
The second leg will be played at the Camp Nou on March 12. Barcelona must score at least three goals and not concede against Milan. Milan can afford a draw and even a 1-0 loss to qualify for the quarterfinals.