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Barcelona are still in title race after Las Palmas comeback win, says Xavi

Barcelona manager Xavi insists his team is still in the La Liga title race after beating Las Palmas on Thursday.

Barcelona came from behind to beat Las Palmas 2–1 thanks to Ilkay Gündoğan’s stoppage-time penalty on Thursday night. The defending champions are seven points behind Real Madrid and Girona after 19 matches.

After the match against Las Palmas, Xavi said Barcelona deserves more respect and insisted they are in the title race.

“Of course,” Xavi said in his post-game news conference. “Did you see this week’s games in LaLiga? It’s hard for everyone to win in this league.

“Girona [won] in the last minute, Madrid in the 80th minute from a corner and us in the last moment with a penalty. There are arguments for Barça to win LaLiga, the first being that we are the reigning champions, so [give some] respect to the reigning champions.”

Barcelona could drop to fifth place in the table if they had suffered a defeat against Las Palmas.

“If it was 10 points, it would be more difficult [to win the league], of course, but you are always negative,” Xavi said.

It makes me laugh. You are not the same with other coaches. We have won the game so why ask that question? Why speak about what did not happen? It’s seems completely absurd to me.”

Xavi’s side have now won 15 points from losing positions in La Liga this season. Barcelona’s head coach revealed what he told his players at half-time that inspired a second-half comeback.

Once again we have had to come back from behind,” Xavi added. “But no one had come back against Las Palmas [this season] and we have done it, which has a lot of merit.

“We erred with the pass in behind in the first half. They had a high line and we could not find the space behind, which was something we had worked on specifically all week.

At half-time, a goal down, I told the players we would win 3-1 if we just improved our timing and quality with the final ball. It was about being more mature and having that extra quality, that was it. We won 2-1 but we had a chance for the third goal.

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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