Barcelona rounded off with a terrible week with more dropped points as Chimy Avila’s late equaliser earned a stubborn Osasuna side a draw against the out-of-form Catalans.
Xavi’s side were dumped out of the Champions League in midweek and were beaten by Real Betis last weekend – but looked to be heading back to winning ways when youngsters Nico Gonzalez and Abde Ezzalzouli put them 2-1 up on Sunday night.
But Osasuna’s substitute striker Avila struck a late equaliser from the edge of the box to extend Barcelona’s winless run under new boss Xavi to three matches in all competitions.
Young academy products Gavi and Nico combined for the latter to score his first LaLiga goal but the Catalans’ lead lasted just two minutes as David Garcia headed home a free-kick past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
But Barcelona regained the lead in the second period in controversial circumstances when young striker Abde slammed home Ousmane Dembele‘s deflected cross at the back post when Osasuna were crying out for a penalty.
Yet the stubborn hosts felt less aggrieved after substitute striker Avila struck a stunning low strike from distance after a corner had been cleared to keep Barcelona in ninth and 15 points behind LaLiga leaders Real Madrid.
Despite the disappointing results, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes the Catalans are improving with their young squad, which included teenage players such as Gavi, Nico, Abde – with promising defender Alejandro Balde on the bench.
‘We’re doing undone by set plays at the moment,’ Pique said. ‘But coming off the back of what happened in midweek, it’s a positive performance but we’re not happy with the result.
‘One of the objectives at the start of the season was to win the Champions League, it’s gone away from us. Xavi said it’s a new era so we have to begin. And as much ground we can make up is the best we can do.
‘Well the objective right now is to win the next game, the only objective is a short-term one. We’ve got many young players and that’s good for the club.
‘It’s urgent, it’s an urgent situation. It’s difficult in the league. All we can do is stay together as a team and pick up the next few points.
‘Slowly but surely, we’re going to be improving.’