A number of Barcelona stars have blamed the pitch at Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park after they were held to a 1-1 draw in Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final first leg.
Barça were second-best throughout the game and fell behind to a scorching volley from Ansgar Knauff shortly after the break, although a glorious team goal from Ferran Torres saw the spoils shared in the first leg.
After the game, Xavi was full of praise for the Bundesliga’s ninth-placed side, but he stressed that the pitch did not help his team play.
“[Frankfurt] came out like demons on the counter attack and they made things really complicated for us,” Xavi confessed. “The pitch wasn’t in perfect condition and that didn’t make it any easier to play our game. We were slower than usual.
“We generated fewer chances than usual but, overall, we are satisfied with the result.”
Midfielder Sergio Busquets also added: “The state of the pitch did not suit us. It made it hard to play first-time passes. We came to win, but at our home with our pitch, we will play better because it will be faster.”
Comments on the pitch were also made by Eric Garcia and Ferran Torres, both of whom criticised the condition of the turf but refused to blame it for their disappointing performance.
As well as being back on the Camp Nou pitch, Xavi insisted that Barcelona will need the full support of their home fans if they are to keep their Europa League push alive.
“On Thursday, we are going to need the fans at Camp Nou to help us,” he explained. “We have that the stadium is as full as it was here, because the fans were decisive in supporting their players. Now it’s our turn.”