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FC Barcelona News: 23 October 2011: Barca held, Real Madrid move top

Innocent until proven guilty
Innocent until proven guilty

FC Barcelona were held yesterday by Sevilla, and the Barcelona players have come out saying that they should be playing better, and that victories need to be earned. There are reports of Fabregas using a racial slur, but all of those reports come without strong evidence. Elsewhere, Levante could go top tonight with a win over Villarreal.

Barça drew with Sevilla in a game that they did everything they could to win, but came up against an inspired Javi Varas. The visiting goalkeeper saved a penalty from Messi in injury time.
Dani Alves reckons that Saturday night’s result: "is a clear demonstration that everything is hard and nothing comes easy", whilst insisting Barça: "are a great team, win lose or draw".

Javier Mascherano spoke to the Barça TV programme "El Marcador" after the Seville game and explained his reconversion into a centre half by claiming: "I try to combine commitment and concentration".

Cristiano Ronaldo scores three times in 15 minutes to help Real Madrid rout Malaga, 4-0, on Saturday and move into first place in the Spanish league,

"I have nothing to say about what the fans think and say, but Cristiano is for me a great player, one of the best in the world," he is quoted by AS as saying. The 27-year-old midfielder went on to reject suggestions he is targeting the award for best player in the world, leaving that honor to Lionel Messi.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has received some encouraging news from the treatment table as centre-back Gerard Pique has returned to training again after a spell on the sidelines, and is nearing his comeback.

Rayo Vallecano earned their second league win of the season - a 2-0 success - thanks to two late goals in a hard-fought Primera Division clash against fellow promoted side Real Betis.