Jordi Alba admits Barcelona have to improve after defeat to Real Betis

Barcelona welcomed Real Betis to Camp Nou this afternoon in a crucial clash in La Liga. They went into the game hoping for three points, but instead lost for the first time since Xavi took over from Ronald Koeman after putting up a below-par performance.

The result means that Barcelona failed to take their opportunity to leapfrog Rayo Vallecano and move into the top six, and will instead end the day seventh. They’re now six points off Atletico Madrid and the top four and 13 behind leaders Real Madrid.

Betis, incredibly, are now in third in the league table, a point behind neighbours Sevilla and just six off Madrid. Manuel Pellegrini has assembled an interesting and well-balanced squad down in Andalusia, and they’ve managed to balance their domestic commitments with participation in the Europa League.

Betis took their decisive lead in the 79th minute. Sergio Canales led a lightning-quick break down the right wing before cutting inside to find former Barcelona man Cristian Tello, who quickly played the ball to Juanmi, who finished coolly.

“We have to improve a lot,” Jordi Alba said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “Today we played a direct rival and we couldn’t beat them. Now we have a very important game ahead of us. We have to improve.

“If we were first, I’d also tell you we have to improve. We have to have more patience with the ball in their half. We’ve shown good things, but it’s clear that we have to improve.

“Barcelona are always obliged to win, especially at home. And we aren’t doing it. It’s also proving very difficult to win on the road. I’m convinced we’re going to turn things around because we’re working well. We’re learning new concepts. But this is a step backwards against a direct rival.”

Tags Barcelona Jordi Alba La Liga Real Betis

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