Pedro talks about derby and the near future

Pedro Rodríguez sat down to talk with 'El Marcador' / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Barça forward sits down to discuss his team and what they need to do as the year winds down

He says he’s focused on scoring and making the most of his minutes when he plays

Barça’s 5-1 derby win over Espanyol at Camp Nou, complete with a Leo Messi hat trick and goals from Gerard Piqué and Pedro Rodríguez, did not disappoint the fans.

Afterwards, Pedro visited ‘El Marcador’ on Barça TV: “We’re confident after good games against Valencia, Espanyol, two tough rivals; this is how we have to close out the year.”

The forward wasn’t so lucky early on in the season, but he looks to be finding the goal with more ease. “Scoring is important but I really need to take advantage of whatever minutes I do get.”

Barça’s only objective from now until Christmas is to win football games: “Winning every game is fundamental. We play Paris, which is tough, but we also have the Spanish Cup.”[[CITA_1]]Pedro also spoke about Messi and his decisive role on the team: “Messi is always spectacular. With somebody like him who can change a game in an instant, you always have to keep that in mind out on the field.”

He also talked about his direct competition: “Going up against Suárez, Neymar and Messi is not easy but I take it in stride. I try to learn from them every day and then use that to help anybody I can. I’ve always had great teammates here at Barça and have always had to perform at a high level.”[[CITA_2]]In last Wednesday’s win at Huesca, Pedro scored a goal and then dedicated it to Martín Montoya. “People didn’t understand it, I did it because we get along well and like to joke around in the dressing room. Today I dedicated the goal to Jordi Alba because he made such a great pass,” he explained.

He concluded by talking about this week’s clash with PSG: “We know it’s going to be tough which is why we really need the crowd to get behind us.”

Winning every match is a fundamental objective
Scoring is big, but I really have to make the most of my opportunities

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Barça v Espanyol (5-1)

Leo Messi got yet another hat trick in Barça's derby win over Espanyol / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
Check out all the top plays and memorable moments from Barça’s victory over Espanyol on Sunday at Camp Nou

Check out all Barça’s goals against Espanyol, including Leo Messi’s newest hat trick, plus all of the top plays from Sunday’s dramatic derby, all right here in this video.

Messi leaves Piqué speechless

Gerard Piqué scored Barça's third goal of the afternoon / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The defender, who scored Barça’s third goal in Sunday’s derby, lauded his Argentinian teammate, who broke the 400 goal barrier

Barça defender Gerard Piqué spoke to the media after Barça’s 5-1 win over Espanyol, and had special praise for Leo Messi, whose hat trick put him over the 400 goal mark for Barça: “There are no words to describe what Messi gives us.”

Piqué scored Barça’s third goal on a corner but admitted that they have difficulty scoring on set plays: “We aren’t very tall. And it is true that we have been able to score from close in, like the other day against Valencia, but today we were better,” he said. He also highlighted the team’s play in the second half: “In the second half we were more organised and they had fewer counter attacks.”

Declarations from other players:

Jordi Alba

“It was tough to penetrate in the first half because Espanyol defended very well, but we were much better in the second half. We could have scored more than five.”

“I’m really happy with the way this season is going both for the team and for me personally.”

Ivan Rakitic

“Messi’s goal was really big, but even bigger was that we didn’t let Espanyol breathe, we kept pushing for the goal.”

“Barça’s set plays are a little different, but we already scored like that at Valencia. We are continually trying to improve our play in that area.”

Barça will train tomorrow at 11.00 AM CET at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

 

Player reactions on social media

Barça overcame an early deficit to beat Espanyol in Sunday's derby
Barça players take to their personal accounts to express satisfaction after the 5-1 victory over Espanyol with goals from Messi (3), Piqué and Pedro

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Luis Enrique says tying goal changed the match

Luis Enrique's side were victoriuos in Sunday's derby against Espanyol at Camp Nou / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Barça manager highlighted his side’s play in the second half, especially their ability to finish

Barça won its seventh straight game in Sunday’s derby against Espanyol after overcoming Sergio García’s goal and an early 1-0 deficit at Camp Nou. “The game was quiet until that goal, because they were all back on defence. After we drew even it looked like Espanyol began to doubt itself and things opened up a bit for us,” FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said after the victory. He made it clear that Messi’s tying goal in the final moments of the first half changed everything. “It was key and justice had been done on the field.” As for the second half, “we were much more fluid,” he said. “When these guys close in on goal, they’re lethal,” he added.[[CITA_1]] He lauded Leo Messi‘s play not just today, but throughout the season. “He doesn’t just score goals. He also throws the other side totally off balance.”[[CITA_2]] Moving past the Espanyol match, the team is now focusing on Wednesday’s Champions League match with PSG for first place in the group. “We feel really positive after these results. The match against PSG should be great. We’re going to compete like we have all season,” Luis Enrique explained. In addition, he said: “I expect something similar to what we saw in Paris. I hope they have a tougher time on defence than the first match and that we’re the ones deserving of victory.”

 

Messi’s goal was key and justice had been done on the field.
The match against PSG should be great.
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