Xavi pinpoints where Barcelona must improve

Martin Macdonald
Xavi at Al Sadd

Xavi insists Barcelona need to start being more effective in the final third going forward, after witnessing his players score just once in his opening two matches in charge.

Following the tumultuous tenure of Ronald Koeman, Xavi was appointed as the new head coach of the Blaugrana earlier this month, completing an emotional return to the club after serving it as player and captain.

The return of Xavi has led to a positive vibe around Camp Nou, one that was sorely missing in the last few months of Koeman's reign.

As he is a disciple of Pep Guardiola, Xavi has pledged to engrain the Barcelona ethos back into the club in the players, implementing his preferred Tiki-Taka style of play.

In his first two matches in charge he has guided Barca to a narrow 1-0 win against Espanyol in La Liga and then a 0-0 draw versus Benfica in the Champions League.

At the weekend, they had to rely on a Memphis Depay penalty to defeat Espanyol, while they failed to find the back of the net in Europe.

Xavi's Barca have not yet scored in open play, and he knows this must be rectified as soon as possible, and believes his team can get something against the might of Bayern in their next game in the Champions League.

What did Xavi say?

“It was a great game,” the Barca coach said after the goalless draw against Benfica.

“If we had scored a goal, at least, it would have been a great game. Because it was. We got a point that we knew very little about. But being positive, we have one match left. We have to go and win in Munich.

“I think we played very well. They’re getting the idea. We were just missing a goal. In two games we’ve gotten only one goal and it was a penalty.

"We have to be more effective. We are Barça and we’ll go to win in Munich and everywhere else. We played a great game, despite the scoreless draw. I’m very satisfied with the attitude of my players.”

Barcelona are in Group E alongside Bayern, Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv.

The Catalan side have won two of their opening five matches and currently sit second in the group behind Bayern, who have already qualified as group winners.

Benfica sit behind them in third two points behind.