Barcelona secured Champions League qualification with a goal from Ansu
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez was happy to have fulfilled the objective of qualifying for next season's Champions League after Saturday's 2-1 win at Real Betis.
Xavi pointed out the detail that Barça "have beaten the 10 top half teams in the second half of the season," something which has allowed them to climb the table. Barça were ninth when he took over in November but now sit second with three games to go.
He added that securing Champions League football is "a weight of our shoulders" after a campaign that "could have been even more complicated, but the team has competed well since November. Maybe we have not played excellently in many games, but we have a winning spirit and are competitive."
Barça booked their place at Europe's top table next season with a win at Betis, with the goals coming from Ansu Fati and Jordi Alba.
"We dominated for large spells and due to some unnecessary ball losses we allowed Betis to play, also from set plays," Xavi said of the win. "There are aspects to improve. We're winning against direct rivals, though. We've beaten all of the top 10, but we have to be more consistent and always compete."
Xavi praised Ansu, who scored in just his second appearance back following three months out with a hamstring injury. The young forward opened the scoring just one minute after coming off the bench in the 74th minute.
"Ansu has a gift, others find it more difficult," Xavi said. "It's a great feeling to have him back. The goal was something we had talked about this week regarding the Betis defensive line. He's a difference-maker. He just needs half a chance to score, even with a bad shot.
"He told me best to play him wide. I told him he could change with Auba, but he wanted to be on the left. He's always a danger coming inside. He gets two chances, scores one and the other is dangerous. He has a gift. He's comfortable around the box."
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