Fabregas hails "best game" of season

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who started and scored in the 5-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday, hailed the team's performance on the night.

Football News: Cesc Fabregas of Barcelona

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

Despite what seems to have been suggested by the scoreline, the two sides were evenly matched in the opening exchanges of the fixture. However, Barca got into the groove following David Villa's opener and scored four more goals to register a comprehensive win that sees them steer 11 points clear of arch-rivals Real Madrid and three points ahead of nearest challengers Atletico Madrid. 

Fabregas scored the fourth goal of the game, volleying in Pedro's right-wing cross, and was extremely pleased with the manner of the victory. Having not featured for the side in their last-gasp win over Celtic in the mid-week game, he was happy to have made his return to the starting XI and hailed their performance as being the best of the season so far. 

"We played our best game of the season," Fabregas told the club website. 

"They went toe-to-toe with us and they made it difficult for us to play out of the back.

"Rayo's players went all out in the first half and that favoured us in the second, that's when the spaces started to open up."

And he feels that Barcelona, currently having to play without the injured duo of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, will become even better over the coming weeks.

"We need to be proud of this team. We're going through a complicated moment in terms of injuries but we have a big enough squad to keep things moving forward." 

"When we're back to full strength we'll be spectacular."

Messi scored a brace and crossed the 300-goal mark at the club within the fixture as well. And on Monday, the Argentinean is set to be presented the European Golden Shoe, awarded to the marksman who scored the most goals in the preceding season across the European leagues. 

But the 25-year-old believes that the entire team is deserving of the accolade as they all helped him perform scintillatingly on a weekly basis last season.  

"I'm very pleased that I'm receiving this acknowledgement, but [the reason I won it] is because of everyone's efforts. This is a group award," he commented. 

"We feel really comfortable on the pitch. It's important that we keep on winning and we hope to continue on form.

"We're having really bad luck with injuries, but we're all playing at a high level."

Barca coach Tito Vilanova praised Messi, but focused on his work-rate.

"We're very pleased with Leo, but I'm sticking with what he did in the 89th minute, when we were up 5-0 he ran back 30 metres to defend a corner kick," he said.

David Villa was also on target as he continued his comeback from serious injury.

Vilanova added: "He needs to continue gaining rhythm and minutes on the pitch. I think we, and the Spanish national team, are managing his recovery well. He gets better each day."

Barca next play Alavés in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. 

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