Vilanova: League has been difficult

Tito Vilanova has called on Barcelona to recognise the tough season that they have had and to really celebrate when they win the League title.

La Blaugrana’s follow-up match to their Champions League semi-final elimination to Bayern Munich was against a Real Betis side that caused a few nerves on Sunday evening.

The Catalans needed David Villa’s strike in the second half to be followed up by a double from his replacement Lionel Messi to turn a 2-1 half-time deficit into a 4-2 winning result.

“If in any game we needed tranquillity it has been this one and to find ourselves a goal down within a minute was not easy,” commented Vilanova to reporters today.

“The players have once again shown their ambition and personality because it was not an easy game after everything that has happened.

We had a lot of chances in the first half, but we didn’t score from them. It wasn’t an easy match.

We always must try to improve.

“This year has taught us all a lot because of everything we experienced. It has been a difficult year because of the injuries and because the head manager wasn’t here for two months.

“Next year things will be different.”

The Coach was asked of the disappointment of the European exit perhaps tingeing any celebrations next weekend.

“People may be disappointed because it is very recent and we were eliminated in an unpleasant way, this shows the demands of the club.

“But, we need to be aware of how difficult it is to win a League title and when we win it we really need to celebrate.

“We’ve demonstrated that we are a consistent team. If we had lost our focus, it would have cost us much more, but we’ve been playing well. Nothing has been given to us.”

Messi, who has been working separate from his teammates in training this week, came on during the second half to swing things in the home side’s favour.

“The management of Messi’s injury allowed him to play this evening. Maybe he’s not in top physical shape now because he hasn’t been able to train as much as his teammates.”

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