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Xavi explains what has been Barcelona’s Achilles heel this season

Xavi acknowledges that defensive errors are undermining Barcelona’s chances of retaining their La Liga title this season.

Barca slipped ten points behind Real Madrid on Sunday after a thrilling 3-3 draw with Granada at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, where Xavi’s team had to rally from behind twice and relied on a brace from 16-year-old Lamine Yamal to salvage a point.

This marks the fifth occasion in 2024 that Barcelona have conceded three or more goals in a match, bringing their total goals conceded for the year to 23 – surpassing any other club in Europe’s top five leagues.

Xavi admits defensive errors are ‘killing’ their title chances

Discussing Barcelona’s defensive struggles, Xavi concedes that the errors are “killing” their chances of securing the La Liga title.

We gave away too much defensively. We conceded three goals against Villarreal; then again today. That makes it difficult to win anything,” explained Xavi.

“We have to minimise the amount of mistakes. Defensive errors mark the season. There are many goals conceded, due to defensive errors. Defensive errors are killing us. It was the same in the draw at Granada earlier in the campaign.”

Barcelona’s defensive form is even more striking when comparing it to their performance last season. In the 2022/23 title-winning campaign, La Blaugrana conceded only 20 goals in 38 league games – a stark contrast to the 33 they’ve conceded in just 24 games so far in 2023/24.

When asked about what has changed, Xavi replied: “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 defence are the difference in points between us and Madrid and Girona.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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