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Sergi Roberto works to evade a charging defender at Ipurúa. / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Sergi Roberto was one of the stars of the 2–0 win at Eibar after getting a rare chance to start a game, and in the position of defensive midfielder. Luis Enrique described Roberto's performance as "spectacular" and lamented not being able to use the player more.

Speaking after the game, Roberto said he felt comfortable playing in a role usually fulfilled by Sergio Busquets or Javier Mascherano. He declared: “I have been practicing in that position all week, and when I saw that the boss had included me in the starting eleven, I was really happy ... I am happy with my game, but even more for the win because it was very important considering the difficult week we have ahead.”

He added that “not winning today would have been no use to us at all, and we knew that this was a small, tricky ground ... We played as hard we could and it was a good all-round performance ... The most important game of the season is always the one we are playing today, and now the most important one is on Wednesday against City.”

Manchester City lost 1–0 at Burnley earlier on Saturday, but Roberto insists that “they would be coming here the same whether they’d won or lost. We would also be preparing for the game just the same, regardless of whether we won or lost here.”

The second goal was headed home by Leo Messi from a corner. In Roberto's view, it was a direct result of how the team have been working hard on set pieces. "This one came off to perfection. I am sure that goals from corners will help us to get through tough games like the one today," he said.

The following are highlights from what some of the other players had to say after the game:

Rafinha:

“We knew it was a crucial game, and so these are three very important points.”

“We dictated the pace and, although they played it tight at the back, we were able to play our usual game.”

“We have to continue in a similar vein because there’s a difficult week ahead.”

“I couldn’t see the penalty incident, there were players in my way.”

“Personally, I’m feeling fine. I have a good feeling about this and I’m improving.”

“It’s not time to think about the Clásico yet. Right now our minds are only on City.”

Marc Bartra:

“It was a workmanlike win. We are happy because we knew it wouldn’t be easy, and it wasn’t. But, we ran more than they did, we imposed our attitude and we tend to get the three points when we do that.”

“We’re working on set pieces a lot in training. The second goal worked out well, but all credit to Messi for such a fine header.”

“It’s a very important week. That’s why we needed a win for our confidence — this game was a potential banana skin.”

“I am very happy that Xavi has made it to 750 games. He is Barça from head to toe and it’s an honour to be in the same squad as him.”

Training on Sunday

The first team will train behind closed doors at the Ciutat Esportiva on Sunday morning at 11.00am CET.


Sergi Roberto and Marc Bartra reaction to win... per fcbarcelona
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