Cesc and Pedro ever-presents away from home

The players celebrating a goal/ PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Cesc and Pedro, who both scored in Seville on Sunday night, have started all seven of Barça’s league games on the road so far this season and bagged four goals each.

Below we take a look at some of the facts and figures arising from the 1-4 win over Betis at the Benito Villamarín on Sunday night.


 – Neymar has now scored five goals so far this season. The strike against Betis was his first on the road in the league, though he also scored at the Calderon in the Spanish Super Cup.


 – Cesc and Pedro have started all seven away games in the league so far this season and have each scored four goals.


 – Of Cesc’s 34 goals for the Club, 21 have been scored away from home.


 – The two goals against Betis was the fourth time he has scored a brace as a Barça player, having also got two against Levante (5-0) and Seville (2-3) in the league and against Osasuna (4-0) in the Cup. His only hat trick came against Mallorca (5-0).


 – Cesc  also has 8 assists  – the most in the Spanish League, alongside Atletico Madrid’s Koke.  


 – Víctor Valdés picked up his first yellow card of the season.  Dani Alves’ booking was his third of the league campaign..


 – Montoya started his fourth game of the season, the team have won three and drawn one of those matches.


 – Puyol and Bartra played at the heart of the defence for the third time this season.  In Pamplona and Vigo they helped keep a clean sheet.


 – In the six games Bartra has started, Barça have conceded just two goals.


 – Sergi Roberto also played in Seville and his 13 minutes were his first since the game against Real Sociedad (4-1).


 – Barça have now gone 19 games unbeaten  –  15 wins and 4 draws.


 – Barça have led the Spanish League for 51 consecutive rounds – just two short of the all time record held by Real Madrid.

 

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Here's the squad's training schedule during the international break

Xavi is one of the Barça players who hasn't been called up during the international break/ PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Tata Martino and his staff have scheduled three training sessions for the players who will be staying in Barcelona during the international break.

Just a month after the last international break, Tata Martino will again be bidding farewell to a big chunk of his squad, as they fly off to join their national teams. For those who will stay on in Barcelona, the coach and his staff have programmed three training session – on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – with rest days on Monday and Tuesday and over the weekend.

Monday and Tuesday

Rest days

Wednesday

11.00 Training at the Ciutat Esportiva

Thursday

11.00 Training at the Ciutat Esportiva

Friday

11.00 Training at the Ciutat Esportiva

Saturday and Sunday

Rest days

Monday

18.00 Training at the Ciutat Esportiva

Cesc Fàbregas is pleased with his current form

Cesc Fábregas  / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The FC Barcelona midfielder is very pleased with his performance this evening, even though he needed to be subbed off before the end of the game

“Physically I’m feeling better, now I have to get some playing time and take advantage of the training sessions,” says Puyol

Xavi and Bartra pass anti doping tests

The midfielder and the center back passed an anti doping test after the match against Betis.

Training session on Wednesday

Barça will return to training on Wednesday, November 13, without its internationals. The session will start at 11.00 at the Ciutat Esportiva.

He gave an assist and he scored two goals in the match against Betis. After the game, Cesc told the press that he’s pleased with his current good form: “I’m on good form, I always try to vindicate myself and make a difference.”

Fàbregas admitted that “the team was a bit slow at the start, after the first goal we got better and in the second half we were very superior.” The midfielder then thanked his manager for his words of praise after the match even though he wasn’t named to the starting team in the mid-week showdown with Milan: “I know what his ideal starting team is, the rest of us need to push hard.”

Unfortunately, Cesc was unable to finish the match and he was subbed off due to issues with his knee. Cesc said that “I wasn’t comfortable, and seeing that the match was beyond Betis’ reach I preferred to to be subbed out.” When asked about Leo Messi’s injury, the midfielder said “he should take good care of himself and not rush his recovery.”

Pedro:

“The goal came from a good play that was built up from the back. It’s helpful because it builds my confidence. I’m calm, I try to take advantage of my opportunities.”

“Betis are a team that always cause us difficulties, the fans are right on top of you… it’s important to keep on winning.”

“We took advantage of the spaces that they left behind their defence, we’re pleased with the victory.”

“We did our job and we’re lucky that other results went in our favour.”

Puyol:

“We secured three important points in a very difficult stadium where the pitch was in bad condition.”

“Betis were intense in the first half hour, but our first goal helped us control the rest of the game.”

“Physically I’m feeling better, now I have to get some playing time and take advantage of the training sessions.”

“Messi needs to be clam and recover well.”

MATCH REPOR – FC Barcelona beat Betis with goals from Neymar, Pedro and Cesc Fàbregas to stretch lead at the top

Pedro celebrating the second goal / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Neymar, Pedro and Cesc (2) score to put Barça three points ahead of Atletico Madrid

Barça stretched their lead at the top of La Liga with a 1-4 win at the Benito Villamarín tonight. Goals from Neymar and Pedro in the first half and a brace from Cesc after the break mean Gerardo Martino’s side go into the international break with yet another win under their belt and a three point cushion over second place Atletico Madrid, who were held to a 1-1 draw in Villarreal.  This wasn’t as straightforward a win for Barça as the score might suggest though, with a brave Betis side never giving up and the worrying sight of Leo Messi limping off in the first half.

Heroic Valdés

With Atletico’s game finishing before the match in Seville began, Barça knew that a win would put them in the perfect position going into the international break and give then the psychological edge the coach had demanded earlier in the week. However, it was Betis who created the chances early on, with the excellent Victor Valdes saving the day with two great stops from Jorge Molina and Juan Carlos, as the team struggled to deal with the loss of Messi  – replaced by Iniesta on 20 minutes.

Two quick goals

Once Valdes had done his job, it was the turn of the rest of the players to lift the team and a defence splitting pass from  Song put in Cesc, who laid on Neymar’s opener. Just a minute later,  Pedro made it two after breaking through the Betis defence to shoot past the keeper.

Cesc brace

The goals took the wind out of the home team, who even when they could make some chances again after the break came up against Bartra – who put in a perfect performance  – and unluckily for them, the woodwork, which Juan Carlos rattled with a powerful effort. It wasn’t Betis’ day though and their tactical decision to try and chase the Barça midfield just gave Pedro, Neymar Jr and Cesc space to exploit.

It was just a matter of when rather than if the third goal came and finally –after Neymar had missed a great double opportunity on the break – Cesc  was set up by Montoya down the left to fire home, doubling his tally soon after with a header from a pinpoint Alves cross from the other flank.

With the game safe, Martino gave Tello and Sergi Roberto some game time and in injury time Betis managed a consolation goal from the penalty spot through Jorge Molina after Alves brought down Matilla, but with the three points secure and their lead extended, it wasn’t enough to spoil the win for Martino’s Barça.