Barcelona Manager Xavi Heaps Praises On New Loan Signings João Felix And Cancelo Following The 5-0 Trashing Of Real Betis In La Liga.

FC Barcelona remain unbeaten to start the season, winning their fourth games in a row as they cruised to an emphatic 5-0 victory over Real Betis at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on matchday 5 of La Liga on Saturday night.

Their nervy start to the season, which has been marred by injuries, finally saw a confidence-inspiring display against Los Verdiblancos in a bid to keep up the pace with their rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table.

The Blaugrana returned hungry from the international break and played their best match of the season so far, with great clinical attacking play all night long, and five fantastic goals, coupled with some resolute defending in a dominant night for Xavi Hernández and his team.

Barca began the game with a high press and immediately mounted pressure on the visitors, as summer signing Joao Felix netted his first ever Barcelona goal in the 25th minute, on his full debut for the club.

The on-loan Atletico Madrid forward opened the scoring when, after initially mis-hitting Oriel Romeu's cross, recovered to blitz past the Betis goalkeeper before firing home from a narrow angle.

Before half time the score was doubled when Felix dummied a pass from Andreas Christensen which set up veteran striker Robert Lewandowski to score in the 32nd minute.

Xavi's turned up the attacking tempo after the restart, and just after the hour mark (62 mins), Ferran Torres extended Barca's lead by curling a smart free kick around the wall. 

Four minutes later, his replacement Raphinha curled a superb effort home from 20 yards.

Nine minutes before full time, another new addition Joao Cancelo rounded out the scoring when he turned a defender inside and out before blasting low inside the far corner to score his debut goal for the club.

Real Betis, who play Rangers in the Europa League on Thursday, had no chance against a ruthless performance from Barcelona.

Manuel Pellegrini's side sit ninth in the La Liga with 7 points from five games.

The victory lifts Barcelona one point above Real Madrid on top of the Spanish top-flight, but their Clasico rivals can usurp them with a win over Real Sociedad on Sunday to retake the top spot.

Xavi expressed his delight with the result, which is by far their season-best performance but the Barcelona manager highlighted key areas where the club must improve as the season progresses.

"It's impossible to call this [the 5-0 win against Real Betis] a perfect match," Xavi has told LaLiga TV after the game.

"We need to improve in several aspects, especially at defending.

"But yes, we've played an excellent match on all levels and I am satisfied with the performance of my players and the way they enjoyed the match," the Barca boss added.

One of the key takeaways from Barca's impressive performance was deadline day signings Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo, with both even finding the back of the net.

“When you manage Cancelo and Joao Felix you realize their greatness. They give us many variants and make the team better,” Xavi said about their performances.

“We instructed Cancelo to join the midfield in possession for numerical superiority,” he said. “Cancelo does everything right. He comes from Pep.”

“When I was a player and they signed a new player in my position, I knew that I had to wake up. That’s what is happening,” Xavi added, suggesting that the new signings have only improved the team.

Finally, the Barcelona boss offered a message to the fans following the emphatic victory.

“A message to the fans would be to continue with the euphoria. We’re gonna try and give everything to make you happy,” he said.

Up next for Barcelona is their return to Champions League action in midweek as they take on Royal Antwerp in midweek.

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