Barcelona News: We Must Stick Together, says Ivan Rakitic

Ivan Rakitic and Barcelona have been in a poor run of form.
Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona at FedExField, Maryland, July 28, 2015. Rakitic has apologized for Barcelona's worrying run of form. Patrick Smith/Getty

Ivan Rakitic apologized to Barcelona fans after the Catalonians fell to a third consecutive league defeat on Sunday to throw open the La Liga title race.

The Croatian midfielder scored an own goal in the 2-1 defeat to a resurgent Valencia at the Camp Nou to see Luis Enrique's side go level on points with Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid remains a point behind.

"We are sorry for this loss but we have to stay together in order to win [La Liga]," Rakitic told Marca, the Spanish newspaper.

"We don't have any doubts about our system. Our form hasn't been good and we have to change that, but Valencia also knew what to do."

Even Lionel Messi couldn't salvage the game, despite scoring his 500th career goal in the 63rd minute to halve the deficit, after Santiago Mina Lorenzo had added a second for the visitors.

"They only attacked us twice, but they scored two goals.That's football for you," Rakitic added. "Our desire has been spectacular but we now need to get together and win all the matches that remain."