Xavi Hernandez believes it was crucial Barcelona made the most of Real Madrid’s derby defeat and lauded the 5-2 win over Athletic Bilbao.
Barca went to San Mames knowing a win would take them a point behind the League leaders, who on Saturday were trounced by Atletico Madrid.
Xavi started as Luis Enrique’s side ran riot in Bilbao and, speaking after the match, the veteran stressed the importance of the result.
“I think we played a great game. We are in very good shape and we had to take advantage,” he said, AS reports.
“We didn’t take our chance at Anoeta but today I think the team has used it well. We were comfortable on the pitch and we enjoyed ourselves.”
But Xavi shied away from the suggestion Barca should now be favourites for the title despite having their fate in their hands – should they beat Madrid at Camp Nou later in the season, they would go past Los Blancos.
“Favourites? Not at all. There’s a long time to go and now the feelings are good from inside, it shows we have worked well and we’re going from low to high. But we have to take advantage,” he remarked.
Xavi was also given a warm reception by the home fans as he left the pitch in the second half, and paused to think the locals for their kindness.
“It’s always a privilege to be applauded. They treated me very well,” he acknowledged.