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Fantastic Joao Felix the pick of the bunch for brilliant Barcelona

Great night for Xavi

FC Barcelona v Real Betis - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Though it’s true that the way in which Manuel Pellegrini’s sides play against Barcelona always offers the Catalans the opportunity to get at them, the Verdiblancos nevertheless remain a dangerous opponent.

The visitors showed on more than one occasion during Saturday night’s fixture that with better quality finishing, they might well have left Catalonia with at least a point.

As it turned out, they returned to Andalusia after being well beaten, and that was due in no small part to a masterful performance from Joao Felix.

Clearly there’s a lot of pressure on the player’s shoulders, after the Portuguese came out in the summer and admitted that joining Barca was his dream.

FC Barcelona v Real Betis - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

As ‘come and get me’ pleas go it was a dangerous tactic but one that ultimately worked. A deadline day deal took him to the Blaugranes but now he simply has to deliver.

Particularly if that means, as on Saturday, Xavi decides to keep Raphinha on the sidelines and use him as an impact sub, to allow Felix the opportunity to impress.

Champions League commitments will ensure the Brazilian will soon be back in action regularly in any event - Barca have seven games in 21 days to negotiate - however, there’s already enough knowledge as to what he brings to the party.

Joao Felix doesn’t have that luxury.

Atletico Madrid clearly didn’t want him anywhere near their first-team squad and he was also largely a disappointment at Chelsea, therefore he still has everything to prove to his team-mates, to Xavi, to the board and to the supporters.

Mind you, if his output against Betis is anything to go by then Barca have a delightful player on their hands.

FC Barcelona v Real Betis - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

In both first-half goals he showed imagination and instinct, once to fire home from the most acute of angles and then to have the intelligence to understand that Robert Lewandowski would be running in behind him to gobble up a second on the night.

He might’ve even had his second before half time had he not shot straight at keeper, Rui Silva.

A superb appreciation of space and positional awareness from the Portuguese continued in the 18 or so minutes he played in the second half, and that marked him out as an easy pick for man of the match.

It’s almost as if Joao Felix has finally found his natural footballing home but a judgement on just how well suited he is to the club needs to be made in a few months time, not after one game against an obliging opponent.

On first impressions, however, he couldn’t really have done too much more.

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