Soccer-Xavi wants Barcelona to be more daring in attack

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Espanyol - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - November 20, 2021 FC Barcelona coach Xavi reacts REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

(Reuters) - Xavi Hernandez faces his first game on the road as Barcelona manager against Villarreal on Saturday and wants his team to bolder and more audacious going forward.

Barca had another struggle in the Champions League in midweek when they again failed to score as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Benfica. They have scored two goals in five group stage games in Europe's elite competition.

"I think we're on the right path, but we need to win on Saturday," Xavi told a news conference on Friday.

"I don't think what is missing are goals. What we're missing is to more daring up front."

In LaLiga, Barca are struggling down in seventh place with 20 points, 10 behind leaders Real Madrid.

"We are living a moment of urgency. We can't afford to lose anymore, we have to win every game. And Villarreal is a direct rival in the standings, so it would be even more important," Xavi said.

Europa League champions Villarreal are 12th on 16 points from 13 games and pressure is mounting on manger Unai Emery after they lost another game at home on Tuesday, a 2-0 defeat by Manchester United in the Champions League.

Villarreal have won only one of their last six LaLiga games and the fans are still upset with how Emery handled Newcastle United's interest in him earlier this season as he did not immediately dismiss the Premier League side before eventually issuing a statement saying he was staying in Spain.

"I think our team is playing good. We need to create a bond with our fans, create a clear identity and a style that make us feel strong, like winners. In LaLiga we are missing the results and we are working hard to get better." Emery said.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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