x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Betis goal has Gudjohnsen pumped up

Tomorrow's Catalan derby between Espanyol and the fast- improving Barcelona promises to be fascinating.

Tomorrow's Catalan derby between Espanyol and the fast- improving Barcelona promises to be fascinating. Barcelona may only be fifth in the table, but the blaugrana are seen to be coming back after a stunning victory against Real Betis. And one man who is looking good at the moment is Eidur Gudjohnsen. Gudjohnsen looked a man keen to get a few things off his chest after his late winner against Real Betis on Wednesday. He came off the bench in the 69th minute just after Betis had hit back from two goals down to draw level at 2-2, but within 10 minutes of his arrival the Iceland international had slid home a fine far-post finish to send the Nou Camp wild and earn Barca the spoils.

Gudjohnsen, 30, who has found opportunities limited during his time at Barca and had only had 29 minutes of league action prior to the Betis game, seemed free of some pent-up frustration after netting his goal as he wheeled away thumping the badge on his shirt. And the former PSV Eindhoven and Chelsea man said afterwards: "The last two years have not been easy for me or the team. A victory like that can help us. I can help and give a lot to the team. I wear the shirt with pride and I've always said that I will never throw in the towel.

"I've always continued working hard as that is the only thing I can do in difficult moments. It annoys me that my quality is doubted. In a team like Barca when things are going bad they search for someone to blame and in the last few years it has been all of us." Delighted though he was with his strike, he added: "My goal was important but the victory is a team effort." The Barca midfielder Xavi said of his side's performance: "We enjoyed the first half very much."

* Agencies