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Xavi: Getafe result a step back

Xavi-BarcelonaBarcelona captain Xavi rued his side’s missed chances as they were held to a goalless draw against Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with the veteran playmaker describing the result as “a step backwards”. Luis Enrique’s men, who had won their previous eight matches in all competitions, slipped four points behind Spanish La Liga leaders Real Madrid after failing to find the breakthrough against mid-table Getafe.

The result means Real are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas, while Atletico Madrid could go level on points with Barcelona if they beat Villarreal on Sunday.

“The most important thing is to win, more than the system, and we weren’t able to do that,” he told the club’s official website. “(It was) a step backwards. We tried it all in the kind of game we’re used to facing, but if you can’t break the deadlock things get difficult.”

Barça came closest to finding the elusive goal a few minutes into the second half, when Lionel Messi curled a free-kick off the crossbar. The Argentina international was handed a similar opportunity later in the half and this time managed to get his shot on target, but it was beaten away by Vicente Guaita.

The visitors were unable to create any other clear chances, their only memorable efforts a skied shot from Xavi and a header from Messi that also cleared the bar. The 34-year-old former Spain midfielder added:

“We had three or four really good chances, especially the Messi free-kick onto the bar, but the ball didn’t want to go in.

“We have to get back to the good way things were going until now.”

Barcelona next face Segunda Division B outfit Huesca in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday and La Liga strugglers Cordoba next weekend before the winter break.