Xavi: Barca will at­tack Atletico

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Barcelona cap­tain Xavi be­lieves his side “must steal the lime­light” against Atletico Madrid on Wed­nes­day if they are to reach the semi-fi­nals of the Cham­pi­ons League for the sev­enth straight sea­son.

The two Primera Di­vi­sion sides square off at the Vin­cente Calderon sta­dium in the re­turn leg with Atletico hold­ing a slight ad­van­tage af­ter last week’s 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp.

“This is a fi­nal,” Xavi said. “It’s go­ing to be com­pli­cated be­cause we strug­gle to cre­ate goalscor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties against Atletico.

“In all of the games we have played against them this sea­son, we have been un­able to take the lead.

“We must steal the lime­light, dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion and at­tack them.

“The fact that we have to win this game will be an ad­van­tage for us.”

Barca must score as a goal­less draw would see Atletico go through thanks to Diego Ribas’ away goal.

The clubs have drawn each of their four meet­ings this sea­son.

“We are go­ing to Madrid with all the will in the world,” Xavi said. “We will face a team that we must de­stroy and we will try to take the lead and see how they re­act.

“In foot­ball you can­not guar­an­tee any­thing but we are Barcelona and we must try.”

Barca go into the en­counter in the Span­ish cap­i­tal on the back of a 3-0 win over Real Betis on Satur­day, their fifth con­sec­u­tive vic­tory in the league.

The out­come al­lowed the Cata­lan gi­ants to keep up the pres­sure on Atletico, who claimed a 1-0 win over Vil­lar­real to re­main one point clear of Barcelona at the top of the standings.

Atletico are not tak­ing Barca lightly, and mid­fielder Ti­ago Men­des said: “The tie is wide open.

“We are not go­ing into the game think­ing that a goal­less draw is enough. We are go­ing to play as we al­ways do, try­ing to score goals.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity for us be­cause we are play­ing against a great Barcelona side and in the semi-fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion. We are very ex­cited be­cause we can make his­tory.”

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