Xavi singled out Pedri for reward after Barcelona went eight factors clear on the high of LaLiga by beating Actual Betis, evaluating the midfielder to Spain’s “biggest expertise” Andres Iniesta.

Objectives from Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski boosted Barca’s title bid as they clinched a 2-1 win on the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Wednesday, with the Blaugrana hanging on after Jules Kounde’s late personal purpose.

Whereas Pedri missed two first rate alternatives earlier than Raphinha’s opener, the 20-year-old created two possibilities and managed a game-high 30 passes within the ultimate third throughout a formidable show.

Talking after Barca piled extra stress on title rivals Actual Madrid – who host Valencia on Thursday – Xavi heaped reward on the diminutive midfielder.

“He’s a participant who’s on one other stage, I’ve seen only a few like him,” Xavi mentioned. “He’s gifted, he’s on the stage of Iniesta, however Andres had a continuity to the purpose that he’s nonetheless taking part in.

“Andres is the best expertise I’ve seen in Spanish soccer however Pedri is similar to him. He could make a distinction, he’s already doing it.”

Pedri was not the one younger participant to shine for Barca, as Alejandro Balde recorded his fourth help of the season from left-back to tee up Raphinha’s purpose.

Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala (six) is the one participant aged beneath 20 to create extra targets for team-mates in Europe’s top-five leagues this time period, leaving Xavi excited by the teenage full-back’s potential.

“I’m very completely happy for Balde, he has large potential each in defence and in assault,” Xavi mentioned. “He provides us superiority by driving and that’s very troublesome to see in soccer.

“He has to use his potential much more, we encourage him to be transcendent, he’s each a full-back and a winger at occasions.

“Fortunately we have now three spectacular full-backs in Marcos [Alonso], [Jordi] Alba and Balde. He’s so younger and has this capability, it’s a pleasure to see him play.”

Barca’s victory took them to 50 factors after 19 video games of the marketing campaign. The Blaugrana have introduced up a half-century of factors by the season’s halfway mark on 5 earlier events (in 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2017-18), solely failing to win the title as soon as when doing so (in 2013-14).

Nevertheless, Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini felt his facet matched the leaders and had been undone by a free-kick being taken from the unsuitable place within the build-up to the opener.

“It was a balanced recreation that anybody might win and it was determined by two set-pieces. The primary purpose is controversial,” the previous Manchester Metropolis boss mentioned.

“First it was a foul on Aitor Ruibal and it was not given, then they took the foul 20 metres additional ahead than they need to have and caught us off guard.”

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