Xavi aims to improve Barcelona after being forced into ‘suffering’ by Villarreal

Xavi is adamant there will be more to come from Barcelona after his side battled to a 1-0 win at Villarreal to take an 11-point lead at the top of the LaLiga.

Barcelona continued their perfect record this calendar year with an 11th straight win courtesy of Pedri’s first-half strike at El Madrigal.

The Catalan giants struggled to kill the game, with Robert Lewandowski getting three tries saved by Pepe Reina, coming close to chasing them late.

Samuel Chukwueze found his way past Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but the goal was quickly disallowed for offside as Barça kept a fifth clean sheet in six league games.

Despite now having a double-digit points advantage over Madrid, who play their match in Elche on Wednesday, Xavi is not ruling out Los Blancos for the title race.

“There are still a lot of points to play for,” he told Movistar+. “The form we are in is extraordinary, but there are still things we can improve on.

“Villarreal wanted possession today and they put pressure on us. We missed a lot of last passes and we suffered because of that.”

Villarreal 0-1 Barcelona

Villarreal 0-1 Barcelona

Barcelona have recorded seven wins with a 1-0 scoreline in 21 LaLiga games this season, equaling their highest full-season tally in the competition’s history.

They have conceded just seven LaLiga goals all season, six fewer than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues.

“The defensive side of things is not our main weapon, but it gets us results,” said Xavi. “The defense starts with Robert [Lewandowski]which is very noticeable.

“We leave here after not giving Villarreal great chances and we leave very happy.”

Pedri’s 18th-minute goal was his sixth of the season in the league, four of which came in 1–0 wins for Barca.

Indeed, no player has won more points for his team in LaLiga this season with goals scored than Pedri (10 points, tied with Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias).

The Spain international was passed through on goal after a quick one-two with Lewandowski, but only after Barcelona turned possession in midfield.

“The game was like this. We stole the ball from them or they stole it from us,” added Xavi. “It’s about taking advantage. I think today’s win came from that aspect.”

Barça will receive Cadiz in their next league game, but first is a Europa League knockout play-off first leg against Manchester United on Thursday.

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