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Cesc Fàbregas i Messi han estat protagonistes a Riazor / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Cesc Fábregas was one of the standout players on the pitch against Deportivo de la Coruña last night. Playing in the midfield, the Catalan put in a solid performance and gave three assists. After going up 0-3, Barça saw its lead cut down to two after a penalty was awarded to the home side, but Cesc said that “in general our first half was excellent. With the exception of a couple of plays, we dominated and we were the superior side.”

“I’ve always been confident in my ability and I’ve been working really hard. Since the start of the season I’ve been very comfortable with the system,” said Cesc. When asked about the controversial calls, the midfielder only said that “these things are a part of football.”

The Catalan commented that “we won the three points, and it was very hard, but it’s clear that we have to analyse the four goals that they scored on us.” In the second half Tito Vilanova brought in Xavi for Cesc to give the midfield more continuity. On the manager’s decision to sub him off, Cesc said: “When Xavi comes in for you, you can only sit and enjoy his football.”

Messi’s three decisive goals

Leo Messi once again played a crucial role in Barça’s victory. Beyond securing the three points with his hat-trick, he also set another personal record. With 59 goals scored in so far in 2012 for Barça, the Argentine has beat the record he set in 2010, when he scored 58. The new mark, however, isn’t important for Barça’s hero: “Statistics are only numbers. I’m only concerned with winning the three points whenever possible.”

The match at Riazor came after the international break, a precursor that the Argentine was well aware of: “It’s always important to win after international breaks because we come back tired and it’s difficult to win the three points.” When asked about the referee’s performance, Messi simply said: “The referee’s job is extremely difficult. I’m told that the two yellow cards [for Mascherano] could very well have not been called, but we shouldn’t spend time thinking about it.”

Here are the statements made by FC Barcelona players after the 4-5 victory over Deportivo de la Coruña:

Cristian Tello:

“We jumped to a big lead really early but after two isolated plays we were in trouble again”

“I’m very pleased that I scored and for the confidence the manager has in me. I like to help the team and I hope I can continue doing it for years to come”

“It’s always more difficult to win the three points after international breaks, we have to be positive about our victory”

Andrés Iniesta:

“We could have killed the game off in the first half, but Deport are dangerous and they caused us a lot of problems on defence”

“We’re leaving with the sensation that we won a very difficult match”

“We have to learn a lot of things from this match”

Jordi Alba:

“It was a very hard-fought victory, but it was very important. The important thing is that we won the game and that we’re returning with the three points”

“At 2-3, the game was fairly even and it ended up being a crazy game”

“My own goal was bad luck. I didn’t want to pass the ball to Valdés”

“The team played an excellent match but we conceded four goals”

“Leo is the best player in the world at the moment”

Celtic FC clash on the horizon

Barça will start preparing for this Tuesday’s Champions League match against Celtic FC after the team returns from La Coruña. On Sunday, at 12.00, the first team will train at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

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