Xavi lauds ‘excellent’ Barca display

Classy playmaker Xavi felt Barcelona’s first-half display in their 3-1 Primera Liga away win over Getafe was their best of the season.

However, the Spain international admits they need to try to wrap games up when they are on top after seeing Getafe threaten a comeback in the second half.

Barca took the lead at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez through Lionel Messi in the 23rd minute and another goal from David Villa 11 minutes later gave the visitors a 2-0 advantage at the break.

Pep Guardiola’s men could have been much further ahead at that point but they added a third goal in the 65th minute when Pedro netted following a defensive mistake.

That should have seen the match wrapped up, but Barca found themselves on the back foot when Getafe forward Manu del Moral pulled a goal back with a 70th-minute penalty after Gerard Pique had been sent off for handball.

Fortunately for Barca, Getafe could make no further in-roads before they too were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute when Derek Boateng was handed his marching orders.

Reflecting on the match, Xavi felt there were both positives and things that they needed to work on, saying: "We had an excellent first half, the best of the season.

"In the second half they were more aggressive and had man-to-man marking in the middle of the pitch, but we managed to get another goal.

"The pity is that we didn’t kill the game off, we must finish games off. That’s the only thing we lack, the third and fourth goals that would finish games off."

Of Barca’s 12 victories in all competitions this season, only four have been by a winning margin of more than two goals, leaving the Spanish champions susceptible to late slip-ups.

Regarding his own situation Xavi, who has been struggling with an Achilles tendon problem this season, admits he felt in good health after playing 77 minutes of the encounter.

"I’m better. I’m feeling patient, I’m being given breaks and I’m feeling better all the time," said the Spain international on his club’s website.

"I have a little pain, but it’s not like a month ago."