Guardiola, a la banqueta del Benito Villamarín / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Pep Guardiola held a press conference after this Saturday’s draw against Betis. The Barça manager said he is satisfied with the behavior of his players: “we played a good first half. In the second, before we went down to 10 men, we weren’t as good. After the expulsion, playing against a team that practices good football is complicated. We tried it and we managed to get the equaliser through Ketia’s header.” On the Mali international, Guardiola said that the player “probably deserves more. He’s a very dependable player in every regard. He gives us things that other midfielders don’t have. I’m pleased with his game and, in general, the team’s work.”

Afellay, who featured in the team’s starting line-up for the first time since his injury, was also mentioned by the manger. “He played very well. He participated, he had a chance to score and he didn’t lose any balls. With Alves’ red card, I preferred to sub him out to avoid fatigue. Anyway, it’s good news for the Dutch national team and for the future,” said the FC Barcelona manager.

When asked about Alves’ future, Guardiola was clear: “questions on a player’s future don’t depend on me, but from my point of view, Alves is irreplaceable. He’s been fundamental for Barça.”

Lastly, on his own future, Guardiola said: “La Liga existed before I came and it will continue to exist without me.”

Praise for Betis

The Barça manager didn’t hold back in his praise for Real Betis: “they are a great team. They play very well and they have great players. They’ve been together for a while, with the same manager and great supporters.” Guardiola finished by saying “Betis have had a great season.”