|Attempts on target||5||2|
|Attempts off target||5||1|
The passing skills and vision of Xavi Hernández left FC Internazionale Milano at sixes and sevens on Matchday 5 and the Italian champions could be grateful, eventually, that the scoreline was only 2-0 rather than six or seven.
But Daniel Alves thinks he has a special revelation as to why and how his Catalan midfield team-mate can weave such magic and decide on brilliant, geometric passing options which are next to impossible to defend against. "We all live in the present and Xavi actually inhabits the future – that's how he sees things the way he does," the Brazilian wing-back told uefa.com. "I've always believed that football is for the little smart guys like me and Pedro [Rodríguez], and Xavi and [Andrés] Iniesta and we really showed again tonight that the little guys can play great."
Xavi and Iniesta formed a limited company on the pitch against Inter, a special service for providing a constant stream of gilt-edged opportunities for the Barça strikers. "We made lots of chances and Inter didn't really make one clear opportunity to score," Xavi pointed out. "We dominated practically the whole match and deserved to win by more goals. Particularly in the first half, we saw the Barça we've all been wanting to see. We played with fluidity, moved the ball between ourselves really quickly and played with authority. The forward three did a really good job, but particularly Titi [Thierry Henry] whose hard work created lots of space and dragged their defenders all over the place."
The sole purpose of the display was to win three valuable points, the first time the European champions have won in this competition since early September. The added bonus is that Barça's fate is now in their own hands. So long as they do not lose by more than one goal in Kyiv next month, Josep Guardiola's team will progress to the knockout rounds. But the victory over Inter also gives a timely lift to a side which was without both Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimović, prior to hosting Real Madrid CF this Sunday. Xavi agreed: "We knew we were missing important players up front like Leo and Zlatan, but this team plays from memory. We all know our work, our positions and when we play like that we are all interchangeable. This has been a big confidence boost."
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.