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Barcelona's new objectives

Following their 1-0 defeat to Real Betis at the Camp Nou, Barcelona are currently 16 points behind leaders Real Madrid and they are practically out of the tittle race.

The Blaugrana have set new objectives for the season, with Jordi Alba's remarks after Saturday's duel portraying the current situation at the club.

"Today [Betis] were a direct rival and we failed," said Alba, as Barcelona are eight points behind second-placed Sevilla, seven behind Betis and six behind Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid.

Xavi Hernandez's side have mustered 23 points in 15 games, which was also their tally in Joan Laporta's first season of his first spell at the club's helm.

Under Frank Rijkaard and with Ronaldinho as their main man at the time, Barcelona managed to finish second in a campaign where Valencia were crowned LaLiga Santander champions.

Real Sociedad and Betis come into play

Barcelona are aiming for a top four spot to clinch qualification to next season's Champions League group stage, with their task being anything but easy.

Sevilla have lost just two games thus far, with one of their defeats coming at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where they were superior to Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, despite their slow start to the season, reigning champions Atletico have certain players who possess a winning mentality and individual quality. Diego Simeone's men have lost just one games in 2021/22.

Hence, Barcelona are expected to compete with Real Sociedad and Real Betis for the fourth spot, but both those two sides have both skilful starters and squad depth.

As for the Blaugrana, they will look to improve under new coach Xavi and they may also strengthen their team in the winter transfer window in their bid to clinch a top-four position.

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