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Xavi talks Lewandowski, Pedri, Raphinha, Balde, Gavi after Real Betis 1-2 Barcelona



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Barcelona strengthened their grip on the top spot in La Liga when they secured a 1-2 victory over Real Betis away at Estadio Benito Villamarin on Wednesday night.

Raphinha opened the scoring for Xavi Hernandez’s side in the 65th minute before Robert Lewandowski doubled their lead 15 minutes later.

A Jules Kounde own goal in the 85th minute threatened a tense finish to the game, but Barça managed to hold on to their lead and grab three more points that put further distance between them and arch-rivals Real Madrid.

After the match, manager Xavi addressed the media, and excerpts from his interaction are as follows.

On the team’s performance: “We played a great game. We controlled till the end and we knew how to dominate the midfield. We created many chances and played one of our best performances especially because we were at a very difficult stadium.”

On Robert Lewandowski: “Lewandowski is a striker of high calibre. He’s a natural goalscorer who always makes a difference.”

On Gavi wearing the No.6 shirt: “I see Gavi with his new number six jersey and it makes me happy. It’s nostalgic because I can’t wear it anymore. I think he will wear it for many years.”

On Raphinha: “Raphinha played a very good game. He presses, runs, and makes the difference, like Lewandowski, who has scored again and always works for the team.”

On Alejandro Balde: “Baldé has tremendous potential in attack and defense, and he must exploit his full potential. He is at a very high level.”

On Barcelona’s midfield unit: “We have 4 midfielders who take responsibility and think about the best interest of the team. This allows us to dominate.”

On the La Liga title race: “We are leaders and eight points off the second-placed team, who have a game in hand. But we are solid in defence, and good in many moments of the game. We are working well, we are on the right track. I see the team competing and enjoying many moments. I can see that they are hungry for success.”

On reaching 50 points in 19 games: “The team is doing well and that, for me, says a lot. We played against a great team and we played a very brilliant game.”

On Pedri: “If we compare Pedri with Iniesta in terms of career, Iniesta clearly excels, but Pedri as a talent is on the same level as Iniesta, who for me is the greatest in Spanish football. Pedri is similar to him.”

Source: BarçaTV+

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