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Xavi says Luuk de Jong is ‘an example’ after striker salvages point for Barcelona

The Dutchman scored in stoppage time

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona coach Xavi was full of praise for Luuk de Jong after the Dutchman came off the bench to rescue a point against Espanyol in the derby.

De Jong equalized in the 96th minute for the visitors with a header from an Adama Traore cross in from the right.

Xavi made it clear after the game just how happy he is with the Dutch striker.

“Luuk de Jong is an example and I say that in front of the whole squad,” he said.

“He’s a top professional. He’s a goal scorer and that’s why we brought him on. He’s had two chances and then scored another one.”

The Barcelona coach then went on to speak about the game in general and felt his team had paid the price for not being clinical enough in front of goal.

“We were not clinical today and we paid for it. It would have been unjust to lose, but we’re still in a Champions League spot and we have to keep fighting,” he said.

“It was an intense game. They were aggressive in the second half, but we matched them. We created a lot. In the end you think about the point. It’s insufficient. It was a game to win, we lost two points.

“We must be self-critical. We can’t concede these goals. We have to improve. We concede too much.

“For the first goal, we took a risk playing the ball out we did not need to take. The second goal is down to a poor reading of the defensive line. Football is a game of mistakes and we have to minimise them.”

Source | Sport

The draw does keep Barcelona in fourth place in La Liga, although defending champions Atletico Madrid are now level on points with the Catalans after beating Getafe at the weekend.

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