FC Barcelona win in La Liga once again in the 20th fixture of the season and the first of the second round of games. Betis were brave throughout but, ultimately, unable to stop Barça from scoring five second half goals through braces from Messi and Suárez following Rakitic’s opener.

Ernesto Valverde was understandably satisfied with the night’s work: “They made it hard for us to play out from the back, but we kept going. It was a question of perseverance.” He added: “In a difficult game where they pressed up very high up the pitch, they took risks and we were able to exploit them.”

The manager explained: “As the game went on, we began to control the ball and we were patient. We needed to force the error.”

The result gives FC Barcelona an even bigger advantage of their rivals in La Liga. In the end, “our goal is to continue pushing hard in the league and to win as many games as possible”, stated Valverde. “My team are committed, together during the good and bad moments. We all want to take this step forward as a unit, as we would if we suffered a setback.”

Finally, Valverde was asked about Leo Messi, who played excellently once again. The manager limited himself to say, “I applaud what he does and I hope the crowd enjoyed and will remember what he does.” He went on to say: “We are fortunate to be around while the best is playing. It is a pleasure to have him with us. Today was a real show. He is the best there is and there has been.” 

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