Barcelona have had a excellent first half of their league campaign, as they sit eight points clear at the summit of La Liga following Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Real Betis.
After the match against Los Verdiblancos, Barca have officially reached the halfway point of their league season, having now played 19 matches. In that time, they have amassed 50 points and conceded just seven goals.
Xavi Hernandez is looking to win his first La Liga as a manager, having won eights as a Barcelona player. He was delighted with his side’s performance in Andalusia, and felt there was a big improvement from the victory over Girona on Saturday.
“I’m very happy with the game. We have improved a lot compared to the game against Girona. We played a brilliant game. Today it was key not to lose the ball and we minimised just that. We dominated from start to finish.”
Xavi saved extra praise for Raphinha, who opened the scoring for Barcelona. The Brazilian has been under pressure at the club after a difficult start to life in Catalonia, but his manager paid tribute to him in the aftermath of the victory over Betis.
“(Raphinha) has been good, not only for his goal, but also with his defensive work. He’s a criticised player, but he does a lot and we value him a lot.”
Real Madrid can cut Barcelona’s lead back to five if they defeat Valencia on Thursday night, but Barca will be very pleased to have seen of a very difficult in Real Betis on Wednesday.