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Five talking points from Barcelona 0-0 Girona

One point closer to the title


Barca move 13 points clear

Barcelona played out a bore draw against Girona on Monday with the only real positive from the match the fact that the team are now 13 points clear at the top.

A win would have made it 15, with just 30 on offer, but it wasn’t to be. Once again Barca were poor in attack, missed their injured players but kept another clean sheet.

Xavi insisted he wasn’t too worried after the match and also claimed his team deserves far more credit than they are getting right now.

“I saw on TV today a programme saying this would be the cheapest league title won in recent years . hat both surprises and angers me. We are in the post-[Lionel] Messi era, we’re making a titanic effort and the players are giving everything,” he said. “If we win LaLiga, we have to celebrate it big time. The feeling is that if Barca win it, it’s not given value, but we give it a lot of importance.”

It’s certainly been a fine season for the Catalans in La Liga, with a title on the way, but they do seem to be stumbling over the finish line right now.

Barca fans chant for Messi again

Talk about a potential Lionel Messi return was in the headlines again before the match, and fans made their feelings pretty clear about the GOAT.

Once again supporters at the Camp Nou chanted Messi’s name in the 10th minute, sending another message to the club about the World Cup winner’s future.

The subject came up after the match too, with Xavi not surprised to see the supporters getting excited about a possible return for their hero.

“Leo generates excitement. They have been chanting his name for the last two games, but we will see if it happens,” he said. “We just have to focus on this season right now and getting over the line. We still haven’t won the league yet.”

You get the feeling we’re probably going to hear Messi’s name chanted a lot by Barca fans between now and the end of the season.

Changes coming to Barca’s attack?

Barca’s attack once again failed to fire against Girona. Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati, Raphinha and Ferran Torres all had minutes but could not find the back of the net.

Indeed the closest Barcelona really came to scoring were from chances by center-backs Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia.

The build-up ahead of the game saw reports claiming Xavi wants to switch up Barca’s attack this summer and on this evidence it’s pretty easy to see why.

Goals were not difficult to come by for Barca before the World Cup, but it’s been a different story in the second half of the season after the tournament in Qatar.

Lewandowski has only scored four in La Liga since, Fati and Ferran both have one, while Raphinha has four but appears to have gone off the boil in recent games.

Another clean sheet after Castellanos misses

Barcelona did manage another clean sheet but really shouldn’t have, as Castellanos had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock in the second half.

The Girona striker beat the offside trap and only had Marc-Andre ter Stegen to beat...but somehow he managed to fire wide and the Camp Nou breathed a sigh of relief.

FC Barcelona v Girona CF - La Liga Photo by Adria Puig/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Barca’s defense has been superb this season but has also been helped by a host of strikers failing to take their chances against the Catalan giants.

Castellanos is the latest name to add to the list as Barca kept a 21st clean sheet of the season in La Liga.

Arnau Martinez gives Barca food for thought

FC Barcelona v Girona FC - LaLiga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Monday’s match saw Arnau Martinez return to the Camp Nou amid a few whispers he could be back permanently in the summer transfer window.

Martinez put in an impressive showing in an inverted right-back role which will no doubt have the rumor mill licking its lips about a possible move.

There’s no doubt that right-back is an issue for Barcelona and an area the club needs to sort out at the end of the season.

Jules Kounde presumably doesn’t want to spend his career there, Sergino Dest is not in Xavi’s plans and it’s not clear if Julian Araujo will be able to make the step up.

Martinez is an obvious choice, given his La Masia upbringing, and has said he’d like to come home but his 20 million price tag may be a big problem.

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