Lamine Yamal opened the scoring on the Olympic Stadium however, in one other efficiency marked by comical defending, Barça discovered themselves 2-1 and 3-2 down towards second-bottom Granada.
Yamal’s second objective of the evening earned Barça a degree however the 16-year-old’s brace couldn’t forestall the Catalan facet dropping two extra factors within the title race.
“LaLiga was already tough and now much more so with extra factors gone,” Xavi stated within the post-game information convention.
“It is a large hole to Madrid and 5 now to [second placed] Girona, however we aren’t going to throw the towel in.
“What we’ve to do is just not slip up anymore. We had possibilities to kill the sport and I feel we’ve gifted Granada targets when there was little hazard. The staff had religion, braveness and need, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient. It makes issues much more tough.”
Barça’s season has been underpinned by unhealthy defending. Ricard Sánchez and Facundo Pellestri gave Granada the lead, with Robert Lewandowski levelling earlier than Ignasi Miquel restore the customer’s benefit.
This was the second time in a month the Blaugrana have scored three at residence and did not win after shedding 5-3 to Villarreal in January.
They’ve now conceded 24 targets in 11 video games in all competitions in 2024, greater than another facet in Europe’s prime 5 leagues.
“We gave away an excessive amount of defensively,” Xavi added. “We conceded three targets towards Villarreal; then once more immediately. That makes it tough to win something.
“Now we have to minimise the quantity of errors. It is the identical defensive errors which have marked the season. It was the identical within the draw at Granada earlier within the marketing campaign.”
Barça’s energy as they received the title final season was their defence. After 24 league video games, they’d conceded simply eight occasions. They’ve leaked 33 on the identical stage of this marketing campaign.
“It is sport,” Xavi stated when requested to handle the distinction. “Kind modifications, a lack of gamers, gamers that haven’t been in a position to play collectively … focus errors.
“Now we have carried out a number of good issues to win many video games, however these errors in defence are the distinction in factors between us and Madrid and Girona.”
After that defeat to Villarreal, Xavi introduced he’ll step down on the finish of the season. He stated the Granada end result was a “step again” however urged a run of seven factors from 9 since his choice confirmed there was a response from his gamers.
In the meantime, Yamal continues to develop into one of many staff’s key gamers regardless of his inexperience. His double towards Granada took him to a few LaLiga targets, a tally by no means beforehand reached by somebody earlier than their seventeenth birthday.
Granada coach Alexander Medina stated they’d carried out work to cease the Spain worldwide however had been unable to execute their plan.
“He is a child with an unlimited current and future within the recreation,” Medina stated in a information convention. “After we analysed Barça this week, he was one of many robust factors we needed to attempt to cease.
“We proposed double marking, additional protection … however soccer is a good looking recreation and ultimately it is the gamers who outline video games, past any technique, and a child of 16 years outdated has proven us that with two targets and an impression on the sport that, as a lot as we had deliberate to attempt to management him this week, we could not cease.
“He has an immense current and future and much more to present and to develop.”