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Barcelona players ready to seize the Liga lead from Real Madrid

Barcelona players promise to fight until the end to win the La Liga title after Zaragoza victory

Mahmoud Elassal, Sunday 8 Apr 2012

After smashing Real Zaragoza 4-1 in the La Liga on Saturday, Barcelona players revealed that title can be won and they will do their best until the end of the ongoing season to snatch it.

“We knew what was waiting for us: a very on-form Zaragoza. We had to work hard to win. These are three extremely valuable points.” Carles Puyol was quoted as saying on the club's official website, adding “We’ve done our work, now we have to wait and see what happens, there’s a lot of Liga left.”

Barcelona forward CescFabregas condemned the pitch condition as well as his tactician Guardiola said after the game.

“It was a difficult match, the conditions weren’t optimal, but the team played with a lot of character - we deserved the victory," Fabregas said.

“The conditions were difficult: the pitch, the wind and because we played against a rival that complicated the game. They’re playing for everything.

“It was a very hard-fought match. Despite it all, it’s a shame to play on a pitch like this, on such a dry field where the ball is so painfully slow.

“We had a lot of chances that we weren’t able to capitalise on.

“We weren’t expecting to be three points behind Real Madrid at this point in the competition, but there’s a lot of Liga still left to be played. They’re still favourites to win it.”

Moreover, Pedro Rodríguez is happy with three points of the game claiming the team have to take the La Liga lead one step at time. Rodríguez also dedicated his goal to his injured teammate Abidal.

“We knew that it was going to be a hard and difficult match. Zaragoza have been showing their real level of play these past couple of games. Moreover, they scored the first goal and it was hard to win the match.

“The goal has given me a lot of confidence. It’s always important for a striker to score goals. I was having a pretty bad goalless streak, but I have to thank Lionel Messi for the pass he game me. I’m very pleased with the victory.

“I dedicated my goal to Abidal.”

 “I’m very pleased with my form and with how the team is playing.

“There are a lot of points still left in play and we’ll fight until the end. We have to take it one step at a time.”

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes confirmed that saving a penalty is encouraging to the team and he considered it as a changing point.  

“It was a difficult, hard-fought match. The pitch was very dry and we had to carry the ball more than we would have liked.

“Saving a penalty is encouraging to the team, we fought back and it helped us a lot. I always try and study how our opponents shoot. I wasn’t on a particularly good streak, but luckily I saved the shot. I’m very pleased.

“We must do our work. Little by little the difference is getting smaller; now it’s Real Madrid’s turn to respond.

“We knew that Zaragoza is playing for their top-flight life. It was very difficult for us in the first half; both teams had chances to score.

“I’ve always felt very loved; I’m happy to hear the shouts of encouragement, they help a lot.

“The play that produced the penalty was a bit doubtful, but it’s respectable that the referee called it.”

Barcelona’s victory over Real Zaragoza on Saturday reduced league leader Real Madrid’s advantage to three points before Valencia’s visit on Sunday.

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