Inter game ‘a final’, says Barcelona boss Xavi


Hakan Calhanoglu scored the only goal as Inter Milan beat Barcelona 1-0 earlier this month
Date: 12 October Time: 20:00 BST Venue: Nou Camp, Barcelona
Coverage: Text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Manager Xavi has described Barcelona’s Champions League Group C match against Inter Milan as “a final” as his side try to avoid elimination.

The two teams meet at the Nou Camp on Wednesday and Barca will be unable to reach the last 16 if they lose and Bayern Munich avoid defeat against bottom-placed Viktoria Plzen.

“We need to go out for everything and need to be positive,” said Xavi.

“We have to try to not feel the pressure and enjoy the game.”

Barca beat Czech side Viktoria Plzen 5-1 in their opener but then lost 2-0 away at Bayern and 1-0 at Inter in a game that saw the Spanish side controversially have a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee for an Ansu Fati handball.

Xavi hopes playing in front of a packed stadium will help inspire his team as they seek to avoid dropping into the Europa League for a second successive season.

“It’s an amazing scene seeing the Camp Nou full, it’s something to enjoy and if they win, even better. If they win the match it will change the dynamic of the group,” said the ex-Barca midfielder.

“We’re expecting similar to what we saw in the other leg; Inter Milan are very defensive, normally very far back with their medium block.

“We’ve been working hard in our training to work on their block and I think we’ve improved from the Barca of the last 15 minutes in Milan.”

Barcelona are top of La Liga and unbeaten from their eight matches, while Inter – second in the Champions League with six points from two games and three points behind leaders Bayern – are seventh in Serie A.

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