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Xavi names key aspect where Barcelona are among ‘worst teams in Europe’


Barcelona manager Xavi rued his side’s poor finishing in the 1-1 draw with Valencia that saw the La Liga champions drop more points in the title race.

Hugo Guillamon’s curling strike cancelled out Joao Felix’s opener as Barca stretched their disappointing league form to just one win in their last four games. They now sit six points behind current leaders Girona and four adrift of Clasico rivals Real Madrid with both teams still to play this weekend.

Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili made six saves at the Mestalla Stadium on Saturday night and Xavi admitted Barca’s finishing let them down.

He said: “Valencia’s goal is a mistake, yes, but if we have to focus on something, it is effectiveness. We can’t forgive these types of chances. We had the game under control, we had to make it 2-0 and score, we didn’t do it and that’s what we’re missing this season.

“We must be one of the worst teams in Europe in terms of effectiveness. It happened to us in Mallorca, in Granada. We were much better than Atletico, and they almost equalised. Against Girona we should have gone 2-1 up, and then made it 3-3 late on. We’re not doing well in effectiveness.”

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Barca couldn’t secure victory at the Mestalla on Saturday / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Barca have scored 31 La Liga goals so far this season, fewer than Girona, Real Madrid, Athletic Club and Atletico Madrid, with Robert Lewandowski their current top scorer with eight.

Xavi had close to a full squad available to him on Saturday night, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Gavi, Marcos Alonso and Inigo Martinez the only absentees due to injury.

The Catalan giants can’t afford any more slip-ups if they are to retain their title, with their final game before Christmas coming at home against Almeria. They return from the winter break on Thursday 4 January with a trip to Las Palmas.

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