Upset Xavi rues missed chances in Barça draw

An upset Xavi Hernández blamed missed chances as Barcelona’s winless run extended to three games with a 1-1 draw at Valencia in LaLiga on Saturday.

João Félix opened the scoring at Mestalla for Barça, who were made to pay for their profligacy when Hugo Guillamón equalised for Valencia in the 70th minute.

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Barça had further chances to win the game late on, with Ferran Torres and Raphinha both squandering openings, as they ended the game with an xG of 3.06 in comparison to Valencia’s 0.48.

“I am really upset and really sad because we created many chances,” Xavi said after the game. “We missed many opportunities. I think that’s what has happened all season.

“We dominate the games. We played so well today. It’s a pity because we are not being efficient. I think we had five, six or seven great opportunities today and we didn’t score them.

“It’s what has happened all season. We need to keep going, it’s just one point, which is not enough for us. It’s a pity because we played so well to win this game.”

Barça are now six points adrift of leaders Girona, who can move nine clear with a win over Alavés on Monday. Real Madrid, meanwhile, will move seven points ahead of Barça if they beat Villarreal on Sunday.

However, after back-to-back defeats against Girona and Antwerp, Xavi insisted he saw enough in the performance against Valencia to inspire positivity.

“We need to keep going, it’s a long season,” he added. “Now let’s see what happens in the next games, but we need to improve, of course, not to create but to score more chances.

“I am frustrated because it is two points dropped. I am disappointed, but I want to be positive. I saw good things in the performance. We are going to improve.”

Even after Guillamón’s leveller, Ferran Torres and Raphinha were both denied by Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, with the latter’s follow-up effort blocked by Yarek Gasiorowski.

Striker Robert Lewandowski also ended the match without a goal despite racking up five shots and Barça defender João Cancelo agreed with Xavi’s assessment of the game.

“It’s a point that tastes like nothing,” Cancelo told reporters. “We were superior and had clear chances to score three or four goals.

“It is a bad result for us. It makes things difficult in LaLiga, but we have to fight until the end.”

Cancelo conceded Barça are going through a tough time at the moment, but he’s grateful for the chance to correct things when they return to action on Wednesday with a home game against winless Almeria.

“We have a very young team,” he added. “We are in a difficult moment. Barça are a club used to winning, one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“There is a lot of pressure, it’s how it is. I like it. I am used to it. We are going through a difficult moment and have to pick ourselves up.

“No one will remember the performance tonight, just the result, but football always gives you another chance. On Wednesday, we have that [against] Almeria, but it’s a really difficult moment.”

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