Barcelona boss Xavi has insisted that his side are not going to give up on the title race. He is still looking to catch Real Madrid and Girona in the league table despite the two teams being 10 and five points clear of Barca, respectively.
Speaking to the media after the 3-3 draw against Granada on Sunday night (February 11), Xavi stated that Barcelona were going to fight until the very end. He admitted that although the gap was big, the defending champions want to ensure they do not slip up again.
“La Liga was already difficult and now even more so with more points gone. It’s a big gap to Madrid and five now to [second placed] Girona, but we are not going to throw the towel in. What we have to do is not slip up anymore. We had chances to kill the game and I think we have gifted Granada goals when there was little danger. The team had faith, courage, and desire, but it wasn’t enough. It makes things even more difficult,” he was quoted as saying by ESPN.
Barcelona have lost just thrice this season but are sitting third in the table. They have dropped points in two of their last five matches and have been leaking goals of late.
Defensive mistakes have been costing Barcelona, admits Xavi
Xavi has stated that Barcelona are making too many defensive mistakes, which has been a big issue for them. He claims that Barca have been repeating the same mistakes this season.
“We gave away too much defensively. We conceded three goals against Villarreal; then again today. That makes it difficult to win anything. We have to minimize the amount of mistakes. It’s the same defensive errors that have marked the season. It was the same in the draw at Granada earlier in the campaign,” he elaborated.
When quizzed about how things have changed at the back for the Catalan side, Xavi said:
“It’s sport. Form changes, a loss of players, players that have not been able to play together … concentration errors. We have done a lot of good things to win many games, but these mistakes in defense are the difference in points between us and Madrid and Girona.”
Xavi is set to leave Barcelona at the end of the season. The Spaniard has already announced his decision, with Barca looking for his replacement.