Xavi called on Barcelona fans to make Camp Nou “a pressure cooker” after they drew 1-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final.
Ansgar Knauff gave Eintracht the lead with a fine finish at the start of the second half in the pleasant area of Deutsche Bank Park on Thursday, but Ferran Torres equalized after a fine exchange with Frenkie de Jong.
The Bundesliga team saw Tuta sacked with more than 10 minutes left in the second leg, but Barca could not find a winner in the closing stages.
However, by avoiding defeat their unbeaten run has reached 14 games – their best success since January-May 2019 under Ernesto Valverde.
Barça were almost two-thirds but included less than half an Eintracht goal, which has been an ongoing threat.
Xavi has heard that his team is affected by the state of the pitch and hopes that the hot air in Catalonia in the second leg next Thursday could help Blaugrana advance to the semi-finals.
“They were enemies. They were moving forward like hell. We had no football broadcast and the state of the pitch did not help,” Xavi told Movistar.
“We are going to be satisfied and Camp Nou will have to be a pressure cook, as was the case in their stadium.
“Usually the ruling team creates a lot, but we couldn’t stop their vicious attacks. We were already warned – they put out a team like [Real] Betis [in the last 16].”
Gerard Pique threw in the towel in the first half representing the groin but Xavi was unable to give a reasonable review to the midfielder.
Sergio Busquets, who would have awarded a penalty against Rafael Borre if it had not been for the VAR, has agreed that Barca will need to improve in the second leg.
“The goal gave us a lot of life because we came to win but it was very difficult,” said Busquets.
“There are things we need to fix. We will do better in the second leg with our fans and the stadium will be better and faster.
“Barca always want to win everything. We had a bad time but we did things well.
“We respect all teams. We can do whatever it takes to win.”
Barca advanced to three of five rounds of the second European tournament after pulling the first leg away from home. They were knocked out of such a final by Bayern Munich in the 1995-96 season.