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Barcelona don't have a defence

Barcelona's game against Elche on Saturday was played in fits and starts. They looked worthy of walking on the red carpet on occasion, but then things got complicated fast and they were seriously troubled.

The Catalans played their best football under Xavi Hernandez in the first half, but then the second half saw their demons reappear. It's clear that they still have a lot of work to do.

The defence is leaking

Conceding 21 goals in 17 games is a drag on any team looking to achieve big things. Barcelona clearly have a problem and Xavi has to find a defensive system that works.

They didn't have any issues in the first half, but their flaws were exposed in the second and they conceded twice in two minutes.

Crown Jewels

The most valuable thing at Barcelona now is La Masia, undoubtedly. It remains a source of talent for the club, and the current crop of academy graduates are doing it on the big stage.

Gavi and Nico both scored on the night, and were joined by Ferran Jutgla - though he himself is actually a graduate of another academy in Catalonia, that of Espanyol.

Proper progress

Ousmane Dembele is getting back up to speed and he looks better with each game. Every week he's contributing just that little bit more, and he put the assist on for Jutgla's opener.

What's encouraging for Xavi is that the Frenchman is also contributing defensively, which is a necessary sacrifice with a three-man defence at the back.

Gavi... where have you come from?

Gavi is scandalously good. The midfielder moves as though he's at the peak of his powers, but he's just 17 years old.

His goal was gorgeous, and he has so much character when he plays that those who doubted Luis Enrique's recent call-up of him already seem out of their minds.

Xavi's tactical shift worked

Xavi's shift was hard to understand after Elche had drawn level. He took Jutgla off to give Nico Gonzalez a run, and the substitute went on to bag the winner.

He played as a false No.9, and he repaid his coach's faith in him.

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