‘It was a brave day’ – Xavi overjoyed as Barca patiently beat Sevilla

Xavi praised his Barcelona players for staying patient in their 3-0 win over Sevilla as the LaLiga leaders moved eight points clear of Real Madrid.

Barca dominated Sunday’s contest at Camp Nou before finding the lead through goalkeeper Jordi Alba in the 58th minute.

Gavi added a second 12 minutes later and Raphinha, who assisted that goal, added his name to the scoreboard as Barca made it 10 wins in a row this year.

Sevilla focused almost entirely on defence, managing just three shots in total to Barca’s 16, and Xavi is delighted his team were able to break down the visitors.

“This was a day of dare,” he told DAZN. “We talked about it at half-time. It is always difficult to attack when the opponent has 11 players behind the ball.

“But we did it very well and I am very happy with this result.”

Barcelona 3-0 Seville

Barcelona 3-0 Seville

Barça took full advantage of Real Madrid’s shock 1-0 loss at Real Mallorca earlier in the day to extend their lead at the summit as they close in on a first title in four seasons.

“We have gone many games without defeat and it is important that we win like we did today,” said Xavi. “Against a low block, we created a lot of chances – that’s a positive thing.

“Things are working out for us. We are eight points ahead of Madrid, but there is still a lot of the season left.”

With a goal and an assist against Sevilla, Raphinha has been involved in more goals (eight – four goals and four assists) than any other LaLiga player in all competitions in 2023.

Xavi praised the Brazil international’s performance and also praised Scotland, who scored himself and assisted in one LaLiga game for the fourth time.

“I was already happy with Raphinha’s performances,” said Xavi. “He is good in high pressure situations and he is giving us decisive help. He is a great player.

“As for Jordi, he gives us a lot of attack and he showed that again today. We knew there would be an opportunity to take advantage of some space that was left.”

Alba was returned to the starting line-up after settling for a late substitute appearance and took full advantage of his chance to impress.

“I take advantage of the minutes when I play; when I don’t, I try my best to inspire the young people so they know what it means to play for this club,” said Alba.

“We are having a very good season, playing well, pushing well and asking our rivals to give us a chance.

“Madrid has eight points and, although there is a lot of the league season left, it is a very good distance.”

Barca’s 53 points after 20 LaLiga games had only been matched or bettered on five previous occasions, including themselves four times.

The only disappointment for Xavi’s team was captain Sergio Busquets going down early after a challenge from Youssef En-Nesyri.

Busquets has reportedly sprained his right ankle and is facing two to three weeks out, which could rule him out of Barca’s Europa League tie with Manchester United.

“I hope there is nothing serious,” said Xavi. “First we will do tests and then we will know more.”

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