Xavi Reacts To Barcelona Crucial 1-0 Win Against Rivals Real Madrid In The First-Leg Copa Del Rey At The Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona continued their incredible Copa del Rey unbeaten run at the Santiago Bernabeu following a 1-0 win against World Club Cup Champions Real Madrid on Thursday night.

Barca have now gone six matches without defeat at the home of their great rivals in the competition, in a run that stretches back to 1970.

There was further history made on the night, with Barca's captain Sergio Busquets surpassing former teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos to become the highest ever appearance-maker in the history of the El Clasico.

The 34-year-old, played against Madrid for the 46th time, while Messi and Ramos both made 45 appearances in the fixture, and could face them two more times in the next month.

"I am happy to have played more Clasicos than anyone else," Busquets told reporters. "As a player, these are the games you love. I am lucky to have been at the best club in the world for many years and I am still enjoying it."

Xavi Hernandez men came into the first-leg of the Copa del Rey clash after suffering two defeats in a row, a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford last Thursday that brought that European journey to an end, and a 1-0 defeat to Almeria in the La Liga on Sunday.

They were without Andreas Christensen, Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Robert Lewandowski through injury, but produced an excellent and spirited defensive display at Santiago Bernabeu, which involves Real Madrid with all the possession not registering a single shot on target on the night.

Eder Militao's first half own goal made the difference between the two teams, as the Blaugrana were forced to defend solidly by Carlo Ancelotti's side to hold on to their led, to have an advantage going into the second leg.

Even if it was a narrow victory, it would serve as a major confidence booster for Xavi and his men, as a defeat to the European and World Club Cup Champions Real Madrid, could have had a demoralising effect on the players.

Xavi had labelled Real Madrid as favourites pre-match, and despite his side’s victory, he still believes that Los Blancos have the edge in the tie.

Speaking to the media despite his team’s solid win against Los Blancos at the Bernabeu, Xavi was still not overly impressed with his side’s performance.

“We have not been able to keep the ball. It has been difficult for us to win duels to have possession, but we have defended very well. We have fought until the end and that’s very positive. Madrid did not create a single clear chance.

“I’m satisfied with the result, but not with our match. We can’t let our rival take the ball away from us.

“The 0-1 gives us a certain advantage, but we are going to have to compete very well against a very strong Real Madrid side. I still see Madrid as a favourite.

“We played well without the ball, but not with the ball. We didn’t know what to do with the ball. We were extraordinary at the back though, and that should be valued. It’s part of the game. I think today we were exceptional and we have to evaluate that positively.”

On the gameplan Xavi said: “The plan was not to defend. The plan was to have long possessions and win duels, but we did not execute it properly. We can’t boast about how we won today.

“I insist that Madrid are very strong physically and they have a great team. They are the holders of the Champions League.

“You can’t always dominate big teams. They made us play this way, it was not our plan. You try to take the ball away from Modric and Kroos… Sometimes you have to defend, and our defenders were spectacular.”

The second leg of the semi-final, will be played in five weeks time at Spotify Camp Nou on April 5.

Before then, the teams will meet again in LaLiga on March 19, also at Camp Nou. Xavi's team, who have now won three of the last four El Clasicos, are currently seven points clear at the top of the table.

They next play Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

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