Xavi: All to play for

Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez believes the weekend’s results mean everything is still to play for in the title race.

The Madrid clubs played out a 2-2 draw in the derby while Barca ran out 4-1 winners against Almeria, Xavi scoring the fourth goal of the game in the dying seconds.

Barca dominated the game but struggled to put it to bed after Alejandro Trujillo made it 2-1 – goals from Alexis Sanchez and Lionel Messi had put Barca into a comfortable lead.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Xavi admitted Almeria’s goal knocked Barca’s confidence.

“Many times we’ve left the game open like that,” he said.

“Their goal stressed us. We had to decide the game before that.

“We’ve cut the advantage to first place and gone two points ahead of Atletico.

“Now we keep adding to our tally. We’re intact and it’s all to play for. The team is good.”

Xavi added that the win over Almeria took a familiar pattern – strong first half giving way to a frustrating second, with a goal conceded from a set-piece to boot.

“We had a good first half but their goal made us nervous.

“We should have finished the game before the break. It’s happened many times this year, good first halves but leaving the game open.

“The truth is, [set-pieces] cost us. They cause further work for us because they can be decisive.”

Xavi also said that the only team to come out of the Madrid derby in better shape was, in fact, Barca.

“We’re the one that comes out stronger [from the derby]. We cut points on them both.”

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