Xavi regrets missed opportunity as Barcelona’s La Liga title hopes remain alive but challenged by Girona match.

    Xavi acknowledged that Barcelona are in a “very good situation” at the La Liga summit but was left to lament the missed opportunity at home at Girona on Monday.

    Blaugrana could have taken a 15-point lead after winning after Real Madrid were beaten 3-2 by Villarreal on Sunday, but had to settle for a 13-point lead after a goalless draw at the Camp Nou.

    It was Barça’s second goalless draw at the Camp Nou in La Liga this season, the same number as in their previous four league campaigns combined, after Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga impressed.

    Barça head coach Xavi says failing to win at home will always be a missed opportunity, but has refused to criticize his side for their efforts.

    Asked by DAZN if this was a missed opportunity, Xavi said: “We can’t be sure we have a point at home, but we are 13 points ahead of second place with 10 games to go.

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

    “We just conceded the first goal. I think we deserved to win.”

    Barça continued their unbeaten streak at home in La Liga this campaign (14 games), with only Union Berlin and Bayern Munich boasting such a season record in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

    This stalemate also marked a rare feat for Girona, which for the first time since March 2019 kept a draw in Spain’s top flight (2-0 win over Leganes).

    Girona have not beaten their Catalan rivals Barça in six league games (L4 D2), but Xavi was quick to pay tribute to the impressive guests Miguel Angel Sanchez.

    The former midfielder added: “We are going to play with teams that are risking their lives. We were told that this point is massive.

    “Next week we are going to Getafe, who are risking their lives. This team drew at the Bernabéu, they are a great team.

    “We have to give credit to this league, people want to see it differently, but we deserve credit for being where we are (at the top).”

    Barça’s frontline misfire failed to break Girona’s determined backline, and Robert Lewandowski and Ansu Fati were mostly passengers in a competition where Rafinha shone, creating the game’s top four chances.

    Brazil’s performance was in stark contrast to Fati, who has only scored one La Liga goal in his last 16 matches after scoring eight (5G 3A) in as many previous matches.

    Blaugrana captain Busquets admitted that it was difficult to beat the hard-working Girona as the Spanish international announced his intention to win the 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. They threw a lot of balls inside and we didn’t press well.

    “Even so, I think we had them, but today we saw the minutes go by, they gradually got stronger in defense and we couldn’t score a goal.

    “Our main goal is to win the championship as soon as possible. If Madrid lose points, that’s good, but our goal remains the same.”

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