The Catalans were in poor shape when Xavi Hernandez took over the club in November last year but now sit second in the league table. They have lost just twice in their last 18 La Liga fixtures, with their latest victory coming last night (April 21) away to Real Sociedad.
However, they are still 15 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid, who have played a game more. Los Blancos need just four points from their remaining five matches to clinch the La Liga title.
Alves, while acknowledging that the title race is effectively over, stated that things could've turned out differently if Barcelona's recent run came earlier in the season. He said after the match against Real Sociedad (as quoted by Barca Blaugranes):
“It’s lucky for everyone else that our good run didn’t happen sooner. We’ve been able to compete in a different way. Life’s like that, we arrived late. It was a tough ask but today we played against a really tough opponent.”
The Brazilian added:
“We aren’t going to win the league, but it’s good fortune for the others that we weren’t here earlier.”
Barcelona move back to 2nd place behind Real Madrid after win vs Real Sociedad
Barcelona entered the match against Real Sociedad in fourth place, three points behind second-placed Sevilla and one behind third-placed Atletico Madrid. They needed a win to move back into the top two and did exactly that.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal of the game as the Blaugrana returned to winning ways after their 1-0 home loss to Cadiz earlier this week.
Alves praised his side for picking up all three points from a tough contest, stating:
“We knew it would be a difficult game, it’s always tough here. In the first half we had control but in the second half our intensity went down and theirs went up. You have to suffer in football, but today we won.”
The victory is unlikely to stop Real Madrid from lifting their record-extending 35th La Liga title. However, it will give Barcelona a much-needed boost in their bid to end the season well. They will face Rayo Vallecano at home on Sunday (April 24) in their next league encounter.