Champions League: hoping for miracles: Lewandowski and Barça before the end

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was despairing after almost losing the Champions League.

Champions League: hoping for miracles: Lewandowski and Barça before the end

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was despairing after almost losing the Champions League. "It's hard to say anything. I'm frustrated, sad and even a little angry," said the former Barça pro after the disappointing 3-3 win over Inter Milan.

This was followed by an apology to the fans, because the Catalans have to hope for a small miracle in view of the financially important move into the round of 16 in the premier football league. "First of all I want to apologize to them because it was in our hands and we just threw away our chance. They deserved a win and we failed even though we couldn't afford it."

Barcelona threatens to end again in the group stage

If Inter gets three points in the remaining two group games against Viktoria Pilsen and FC Bayern Munich with no chance and no points so far, Barcelona would fail in the group stage and be relegated to the Europa League, even if they won two of their own like last year. Spanish sports daily As headlined online: "Barça depend on a miracle. The Blaugrana team is on the brink of the European abyss."

Goalscorer Robert Lewandowski was hardly in a better mood than his coach. "We were so keen to score goals that we forgot about our opponent's defense and counterattacks," complained the world footballer, as reported by the newspaper "Mundo Deportivo". After all, the expensive newcomer scored two of the three goals (82nd minute/90th 2). Inter got in front of the goal far too easily, said the Pole. "We've also had a lot of injuries in recent weeks, so it's not easy to change the line-up all the time."

In addition to Lewandowski, former Dortmund player Ousmane Dembelé (40th) also scored for Barça. But the shaky defense with individual errors before the first and second goals conceded enabled Inter to score from Nicolo Barrella (50'), Lautaro Martinez (63') and Robin Gosens (89'). National goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen saved the Catalans' draw with a world-class save in added time.

Quarterfinals already planned in the record budget

Leaving in the group stage would not only be a sporting fiasco for Barça. The club, which already has a debt of 1.35 billion euros, would also be hit financially. Just last Sunday, the executive floor presented a record budget for this season of 1.25 billion euros, in which it was assumed that Barça would not only reach the round of 16 of the Champions League, but also the quarter-finals. If that goes wrong, Barça will lose more than 20 million euros that were already planned.

"This competition is very cruel to us, both in Munich due to a lack of effectiveness, in Milan due to offensive weaknesses and certain circumstances that I don't have to explain any further. Today it was our individual mistakes," Xavi explained and then became clear: "If you're against If you don't win Inter at home, you don't deserve to continue in this competition, even if we have a slim chance."

Xavi: "Take full responsibility"

And he took the feeling of defeat on his own: "If the defense fails, I have failed. If Piqué or Busquets fail, I fail as a coach. I take full responsibility." Xavi's "project" received "a very hard blow against Real Madrid four days before the Clásico," said "As" with a view to the prestige duel in the league on Sunday (4:15 p.m.).

"We are very disappointed that we didn't win, sometimes we lack coolness and calm," said Lewandowski self-critically. Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets said: "It's a difficult group but we should have done better with all the new signings." It's not over yet, "but it's going to be very difficult now because we're no longer dependent on ourselves."