Xavi injury spoils Barcelona win over Valencia

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The Independent Football

Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola was delighted with his side’s 2-1 victory at home to in-form Valencia, but concerned by a fresh injury setback for skipper Xavi.

Goals from Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol gave Barca the win after they fell behind to the deposed La Liga leaders, but Xavi was forced out of the action 13 minutes from time after suffering a recurrence of an Achilles problem.

Guardiola commented: “My feeling is that he won't be able to play week in, week out, but we will see how he is and how the problem evolves over time.

“We will see how he is when he gets up in the morning, but we won't take any chances.”

Of his side’s fightback, Guardiola added: “It was an extraordinary performance in the second half.

“In the first half we were outplayed - we were too slow, we were beaten to the second ball and we didn't close down well enough, but I was delighted with how we came out in the second half.”

Valencia head coach Unai Emery admitted that his side had struggled to cope with a Barca comeback in the 2-1 defeat at the Camp Nou which cost them top spot in the table.

Los Che led 1-0 at the interval thanks to a Pablo Hernandez strike, but Barca hit back in the second 45 minutes to take the victory.

Emery told Marca: “We played a great game in the first half, but the second we have done the opposite. We came to win, played to win and we lost.

“We were dangerous in the first half when they were struggling. We came out for the second half optimistic, but we conceded very quickly and that was our handicap.

“In the second period we tried to keep the same style and philosophy, but they hit us hard with good attacks. You have to give credit to Barcelona.”