Xavi admitted he thought Barcelona’s overturned penalty in the 2-2 draw against Mallorca could have been awarded.
Despite having 70% possession and an xG 1.1 higher than their adversaries on Tuesday, Barca were unable to beat a spirited Mallorca side at the Estadi Mallocar San Moix, and instead had to come from behind twice to take home a point.
Barca fell behind in the early stages of the game when a lackadaisical pass from Marc-Andre ter Stegen allowed Vedat Muriqi to open the scoring, and Raphinha’s leveller four minutes before the half-time interval was soon cancelled out by Abdon Prats, who benefitted from indecision from Ronald Araujo and Inigo Martinez following a long ball over the top.
Youngster Fermin Lopez earned Barca a share of the spoils 15 minutes from time, but things could have been better for Xavi’s side had the decision to award a penalty for a foul on Lamine Yamal not been overturned.
After VAR intervention, there was deemed to have not been enough contact on Yamal, leading the refereeing to overturn his decision. On the non-award, Xavi said after the game: “At no moment does [Mallorca’s Copete] touch the ball. We have to see if there was contact, I thought there was a little. It seemed a penalty to me live.
“The referee went to the monitor and hasn’t seen [a touch]. It is a really difficult decision for the referee.”
Xavi focused most of his post-match thoughts on Barcelona’s inadequate defending, and he was quick to admit that his players must cut out the errors if they are to achieve their goals.
“The problem is they got in front with a mistake from us,” he said. “Then when we were at our best, equalising before the break, they get a second. They’re both mistakes from us which should not happen.
“We created chances, even though we thought it would be harder to do so, but we conceded too much. It’s mistakes. We had the game under control, I remember chances for Joao, Ferran, Rafa…
“We have to improve in defence. Last season we were really solid and focused back there. We weren’t bad today, but we’ve made two errors that we can’t make. It’s because of that we have dropped two points today.”
Barcelona sit top of the La Liga table at present, winning five of their seven games, but could drop to third if surprise package Girona and Real Madrid beat Las Palmas and Villarreal respectively on Wednesday evening.