Soccer-Felix bicycle kick earns Barcelona win at Cadiz


Soccer Football - LaLiga - Cadiz v FC Barcelona - Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, Cadiz, Spain - April 13, 2024 FC Barcelona's Joao Felix scores their first goal REUTERS/Jon Nazca

(Reuters) -Joao Felix netted a brilliant bicycle kick to earn depleted Barcelona a 1-0 La Liga win at relegation-threatened Cadiz on Saturday as manager Xavi Hernandez rested key players ahead of their Champions League quarter-final against Paris St Germain.

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

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

Barca dominated the early stages and Felix 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 Cadiz, 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," Felix 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."

Cadiz 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, Barca 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 Gundogan and Joao Cancelo, however, thay did just enough to earn their sixth consecutive win in all competitions and extend their unbeaten run to 13 competitive matches.

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

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas, editing by Ed Osmond)

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