The check Barcelona suffered in Munich on Wednesday led to the tension in the dressing room. And also at half-time, when Barça were already 2-0 down to Bayern, than in the final 90 minutes.
Disappointed with how his team had played, Xavi could not hide his frustration, as he would later admit in his post game press conference.
At the end of the first half, Xavi raised his voice to show his discontent with what he had seen: “Some of you don’t understand what it means to play for Barça.”
Beyond strictly tactical issues, the coach appealed to many factors related to effort and implication. But the reality is his speech didn’t have an effect.
Barça did not react in the second half. In fact, at times they appeared to have given up as they were beaten 3-0 by Bayern at the Allianz Arena.
Xavi was less impulsive after the game. He had a brief but strong message for the player but nothing like the decibel level at halftime.
His face said everything. He was hugely angry. That half-time anger became funeral-like after the game. No player wanted to raise their voice. Just silence.
Xavi’s body language didn’t change all night. The coach is aware of the club’s problems but still expected more in Germany this week.
Now more than ever, he believes important decisions need to be taken. And the sooner the better. He has translated as much to the club’s hierarchy.
If anything good can come from Barça’s elimination from the Champions League, it’s that they are now brave enough to make the changes they have been putting off for so long.