Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad  5 - 1

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Pedro hails return of fit-again Villa

20 August 2012 14:43

Pedro has voiced his delight with David Villa's return to match action in Barcelona's 5-1 La Liga win over Real Sociedad at the weekend.

The striker came off the bench with 15 minutes to go, and capped his first appearances in an official game since breaking his leg at the Club World Cup in December 2011 with a well-taken goal in the 84th minute.

"Villa's return is the best piece of news of the game. He scored a goal and it's an absolute joy to have him with us," Pedro told the Barca website.

Versatile attacker Pedro found the net too, and was pleased his own performance, as well as the Catalan club's start to the new season.

"I'm content because we won and because I scored a goal. I helped the team. I feel great. The team is slowly starting to play at a high level and, in general, we're playing really well.

"It's great to start the season in this fashion, playing with our philosophy. I'm happy that we won and how we played the match.

"But we have a lot of games in front of us. This (season has) just started and we did our job, we started the Liga off on the right foot."

Barcelona lock horns with Sampdoria in a friendly on Monday for the Joan Gamper Trophy.

Article

Winning start pleases ambitious Messi

20 August 2012 09:24

Lionel Messi says he is happy with Barcelona's 5-1 win over Real Sociedad in Sunday's La Liga opener at Camp Nou.

The Argentine netted two goals to get the Catalan club off to a winning start, and Messi is full of ambition for the remainder of the 2012/13 campaign.

"We're a team that wants to keep on winning important titles for the club. I want to win it all, just like (coach) Tito (Vilanova). It will be difficult, but we'll try. It's important to start off winning," Messi told Barca TV.

"Despite having a new manager, the team continues to play with the same philosophy. We're playing with the same style of play."

The Argentina international then looked ahead to the Spanish Supercopa tie versus Real Madrid, and expects two complicated matches.

"It will be a complicated match because they are an experienced rival," he said.

"The key to success is that all players actively participate so that we can score goals."

The first leg of the Supercopa takes place at Barca's Camp Nou home on Thursday.

Article

Alves hails emphatic Barca victory

20 August 2012 04:23

Barcelona defender Dani Alves was thrilled with his side's positive start to the La Liga season after running out 5-1 winners over Real Sociedad.

In Tito Vilanova's first competitive match in charge, Barcelona were quickly ahead through a Carles Puyol header, before being briefly pegged back to 1-1 by a fine Gonzalo Castro strike.

But soon after, goals from Lionel Messi, Pedro and David Villa wrapped up a comprehensive victory in the club's opener at Camp Nou.

"We have started very well, and in the league it is always important to start well. Our team was very organised from the first minute," Alves told Barca TV.

"We reacted quickly to their goal and were able to put the game beyond reach, but the team will have to work on its physical shape as the season goes on."

Asked about new coach Vilanova, Alves praised the consistency that he has brought to the dressing room.

"We said we would not change anything, our philosophy is the same, just with somebody else giving the instruction," he said.

Having surrendered their La Liga crown to Real Madrid last year, Alves is clear on the team's objectives for the coming season.

"Last year we had many accidents, and we weren't competitive enough in the league. Tonight was an important moment and will boost the team's morale," he said.

Article

Montanier anticipates Barca battle

18 August 2012 09:53

Real Sociedad coach Philippe Montanier is looking forward to their season-opening date with Barcelona in La Liga.

Real were beaten 2-1 in last season's away match versus the Catalans, and Montanier expects another difficult encounter at the weekend as the La Liga season kicks off.

"I expect Barcelona to dominate the game and have more possession because of all the individual quality they have and the great team they are," Montanier said.

"However, it is only one game and everything can happen. We will do whatever we can to get a positive result. We aim to put in a good performance and hope to take our chances.

"It won't be easy, though, as it is Tito Vilanova's first game in charge. Barcelona will be fired up to do well."

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +75 100
2 38 +61 85
3 38 +34 76
4 38 +21 66
5 38 +13 65
6 38 +3 57
7 38 +1 56
8 38 -16 53
9 38 +4 50
10 38 -14 47
11 38 -17 46
12 38 -21 45
13 38 -9 44
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -17 42
16 38 -17 39
17 38 -15 37
18 38 -29 36
19 38 -23 35
20 38 -25 34