Félix bicycle kick earns Barcelona win at Cádiz


Joao Felix scores bicycle goal to give Barcelona the lead

Joao Felix finds the back of the net with a bicycle kick to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead.

João Félix netted a brilliant bicycle kick to earn depleted Barcelona a 1-0 La Liga win at relegation-threatened Cádiz on Saturday as manager Xavi Hernandez rested key players ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal against Paris Saint-Germain.

Barça moved to 70 points, eight behind leaders Real Madrid, whom they will face in El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu next weekend.

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They are two points ahead of third-placed Girona, who lost 3-1 at fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

"We knew we would suffer here," Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez said in his post-match news conference. "Cádiz are a well organised and aggressive side. It was a really professional performance.

"We wanted to win to keep the pressure on Real Madrid. It wasn't easy but it's three important points. We are fighting for LaLiga, we want to compete. It's not in our hands but it's up to us to try and cut the gap on Madrid. There is ambition, commitment ... Everyone is up for it. I am proud of the team."

João Félix's spectacular goal was enough to give Barcelona victory over Cádiz.
Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images

Barça dominated the early stages and Félix scored the winner in the 37th minute with a stunning strike, pouncing on a rebound from a corner to acrobatically volley home.

The Portuguese forward, on loan from Atletico Madrid, had scored a bicycle kick in his previous visit to Cádiz, a 3-2 loss last season with the capital club.

"I guess this stadium gives me luck. It wasn't planned, I just reacted and it happened. What a great feeling it was and even better with a win this time," Félix told Movistar Plus+.

"We made a very good game from the start, it is a very difficult stadium to play at. We were good up-front early and good on defence later on, when they made a run as they are fighting for salvation."

Added Xavi: "João Félix is a player with bags of talent. He is happy here. It's a great goal, but beyond that it was how he pressed and how he understood when to go outside and when to go inside.

"We give him that freedom of movement to bring his talent out and it was a wonderful performance tonight. He has made the goal himself."

Cádiz are 18th in the standings on 25 points, third bottom and three points behind 17th-placed Celta who are just outside the relegation zone.

As Real and Atletico both won while resting regular starters ahead of key Champions League clashes, Barça boss Xavi took that decision to the extreme and made eight changes to the team who fought back to win at PSG on Wednesday.

Missing Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gündogan and João Cancelo, however, they did just enough to earn their sixth consecutive win in all competitions and extend their unbeaten run to 13 competitive matches.

Other than Félix's aerial effort and a goal-line clearance by Cádiz defender Victor Chust from a Fermin Torres shot, Barça did not do much and were saved by inspired goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen who made key saves to frustrate Cádiz.

Information from Reuters and ESPN's Sam Marsden contributed to this report.