Barcelona remain on course for LaLiga title but Xavi laments missed chance against Girona

By Sports Desk April 10, 2023

Xavi acknowledged Barcelona are in a "very good situation" at the LaLiga summit but was left to rue a missed opportunity at home to Girona on Monday.

The Blaugrana could have moved 15 points clear with victory, after Real Madrid fell to a 3-2 defeat against Villarreal on Sunday, but had to settle for a 13-point lead following a goalless draw at Camp Nou.

It marked Barca's second draw without scoring at Camp Nou in LaLiga this term, as many as in their previous four league campaigns combined, after Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga impressed.

Barca head coach Xavi says failing to win at home will always be a missed chance, though refused to criticise his side for their efforts.

Asked on DAZN whether it was an opportunity squandered, Xavi said: "We can't be positive with a point at home, but we are 13 points clear of second with 10 games to go.

"We are in a very good situation. We have tried, we have played a correct game, we have had many chances to score and win the game against a very good team.

"We just missed getting the first goal. I think we deserved to win."

Barca continued their unbeaten run at home in LaLiga this campaign (14 games), with only Union Berlin and Bayern Munich boasting a season-long such record across Europe's top five leagues this term.

The stalemate also marked a rare feat for Girona, who kept a clean sheet in a Spanish top-flight away game for the first time since March 2019 (2-0 win at Leganes).

Girona have not beaten their Catalan rivals Barca in six league meetings (L4 D2) but Xavi was quick to credit Miguel Angel Sanchez's impressive visitors.

The former midfielder added: "We are going to play teams like this, who are risking their lives. They told us that this point is massive.

"Next week we are going to Getafe, who are risking their lives. This team drew at the Bernabeu, it's a great team.

"We have to give credit to this league, people want to see it differently but we deserve praise to be where we are [at the top]."

A misfiring Barca frontline failed to breach the resolute Girona backline, with Robert Lewandowski and Ansu Fati largely passengers in a contest where Raphinha shone by creating a game-leading four chances.

The Brazil international's performance was in stark contrast to Fati, who has been involved in just one LaLiga goal in his last 16 outings after being involved in eight (5G 3A) in that amount of previous matches.

Blaugrana captain Busquets acknowledged it was difficult to overcome an industrious Girona as the Spain international outlined his intentions to wrap up the league title as soon as possible.

He told DAZN: "It was hard for us to hurt them, especially in the first half when they had a little more possession of the ball. They put a lot of balls inside and we weren't pressing well. 

"Even so, I think we have had them, but today we have seen how the minutes went by, they gradually established themselves more and more in defence and we could not get the goal. 

"Our main objective is to win the league as soon as possible. If Madrid drop points then good, but our objective remains the same."

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