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The playmaker questioned the officials as the Blaugrana dropped two points...

Barcelona midfielder Xavi has criticised the performance of referee Undiano Mallecano after the league leaders could only manage a goalless draw versus Espanyol on Saturday evening.

Despite having the majority of possession the Catalan giants could not break down a staunch Blanc I Blau back line, meaning Real Madrid have the opportunity to reduce their lead at the summit of La Liga to just 1 point.

However, after the match Xavi spoke with journalists and said, “The referee had helped the team that did not want to play football. It was a very intense game, and the referee did not regulate the match properly.

“He [the referee] gave out many warnings, but the cards did not come to pass. They [ Espanyol] man-marked us throughout the game and played with pressure and intensity, and we never felt comfortable at all during the match.”

Real Madrid have the chance to close the gap in the Primera Division to just one point when they face Valencia this evening at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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