Barcelona coach Xavi believes his side were unlucky not to concede all three points despite needing an equalizer in the final minutes of the 2-2 draw at Espanyol on Sunday.
Raul de Tomas shot Vicente Moreno’s runners ahead in the second half after Pedri and Sergi Darder met in the first half at RCDE Stadium.
Luuk de Jong then made a final whistle to redeem the point as both sides ended up with 10 men after Gerard Pique and Nicolas Melamed were dismissed for two possible bookings following a dispute between the two.
Manuel Morlanes also saw the red in the opposition following De Jong’s equalizer, which was Barca’s 10th goal in LaLiga this season – no team has scored more goals this season, and they are their best figures since the 2016-17 campaign.
While the draw means that Real Betis are now four points adrift of third place ahead of Blaugrana, Barca have recorded LaLiga history as they have made 24 undefeated games against Espanyol, the most derby match in league history.
However, Xavi saw that his team deserved more than their Catalan rivals.
“It was a game to win,” Xavi told Movistar after the game. “When we were at our best we were able to make it 2-0.
“In the end, when it was 2-1, it looked like he had won the point, but when I analyze it I think it was up to us to win.
“We won well and had a lot of chances. We lost two points. We were part of the whole Espanyol game. They came two or three times and worked very hard. One day we were there and it pays off. It’s closed.”
Real Madrid is still a long way off for Barca, 15 points adrift of LaLiga leaders as the Blaugrana look to hold on to their last Champions League qualifier.
“The league is very difficult and a step backward but you have to keep fighting,” he added.
Ousmane Dembele, who appeared to be leaving Barca during contract talks, was introduced as a substitute in the second half as Xavi chased the game and the Spaniard was delighted to call up a player.
“Dembele is another one, he can help us, and today he has helped us,” Xavi said. “You played good minutes. You’re still one of the reasons.”
Barca will look to close the gap on Betis when they next play in a league match in Valencia on Sunday.