Vilanova hails Barca character

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova hailed his side's character after seeing them fight back to beat Real Betis.

Last Updated: 06/05/13 at 11:20 Post Comment

Tito Vilanova: Pleased with character shown by side

Tito Vilanova: Pleased with character shown by side

The win moved Barcelona a step closer to lifting the Primera Division title.

Wounded from their Champions League semi-final humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich, Barca looked in danger of suffering another major setback as Ruben Perez put Betis 2-1 ahead just before the break at the Nou Camp.

If that scoreline had remained the same, then Barca could have seen their once-mighty lead at the top of the Primera Division cut to just five points by nearest challengers Real Madrid when the reigning champions faced Malaga in midweek.

However, three second-half goals, two of them by substitute Lionel Messi, saw Barca recover to claim a 4-2 win over Betis to move 11 points clear of Madrid again and, with only four rounds to go, that means if Jose Mourinho's men do not win on Wednesday, the title will be going to the Nou Camp.

Vilanova said: "Finding ourselves a goal down in the first minute wasn't easy, but the players showed their personality. And more so when the second went in before half-time. It was a question of not losing our heads."

Regarding the possibility of winning the title without even playing in midweek, Vilanova is doubtful.

He said: "Madrid are having a spectacular second half to the season and won't allow slips. We have to think that we still need to pick up two points because Madrid will win them all."

Vilanova also confirmed he would be returning to New York this week for follow-up tests having spent two months in America earlier this year undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment for cancer. He is set to be back in Barcelona on Thursday.

Looking further ahead, the Barca coach admits there is plenty to improve on following a testing season on and off the pitch with illnesses, injuries and some surprise results, including their 7-0 aggregate Champions League mauling by Bayern.

He said: "We always must try to improve. This year has taught us all a lot because of everything we experienced.

"It has been a difficult year because of the injuries and because the head coach wasn't here for two months. Next season things will be different, although that's normal because it's my first year."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Ian Baraclough was delighted Motherwell's game plan worked at Ibrox

Ian Baraclough says Motherwell's game plan worked perfectly as they won 3-1 at Rangers in the Premiership play-off final

Stuart McCall disappointed by slack Rangers in Motherwell defeat

Stuart McCall says Rangers gave their poorest performance under him as they lost their play-off tie against Motherwell

FIFA president Sepp Blatter praised by Sheikh Ahmad

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been praised for doing "a great job" by one of the governing body's new top executives.

Mail Box

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company