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FC Barcelona News: 20 September 2011; Gerard Pique Resumes Training, Barça Enjoying Best Under Pep Thanks to Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas

They look like they played their whole lives together.
They look like they played their whole lives together.

Best goal scoring start to a season under Pep |
This season has seen an improvement in points on Guardiola’s first and third seasons and a record number of goals scored, after the five against Villarreal, two in Anoeta and eight against Osasuna on Saturday, whilst Valdes has been beaten just twice – both at Real Sociedad.

Messi – Cesc, the perfect pairing |
Both the Argentinean and the Catalan are enjoying a sweet moment of form, Messi has scored nine times already this season and is the team’s leading marksman, followed by Cesc on four, but it’s not just the goals that are thrilling the fans –it’s the connection between the two that is really exciting.

Piqué working with the rest of the squad |
Following Sunday’s rest day after the 8-0 win over Osasuna, the squad trained at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper this lunchtime and began preparing for the trip to Valencia this Wednesday(22.00). The good news for Pep Guardiola was that Gerard Piqué played a full part in the session.

Thiago: League’s not a two horse race |
There’s plenty of debate as to whether the Spanish League has become a two horse race between Barça and Real Madrid, but Guardiola’s team have dropped points in Anoeta and Madrid lost in the Ciutat de València on Sunday and Thiago reckons : "it’s a big lie that this is a league of two teams – the others come along and do their very best and try to win".

City look to Barca for Academy inspiration - Yahoo! Eurosport
"To develop your own home-grown talent is a big part of what we do. If you look a Barcelona, they had eight home-grown players playing in the Champions League final which is an incredible achievement and that is something that is an ambition for our football club. This could be the most important investment the club has ever made under its new ownership."

Santos forward Neymar to wait until next summer - ESPN Soccernet
"Hopefully in next year's (summer) transfer window, we will have these same two great clubs interested in acquiring me again, or maybe other clubs. Until then, I have a lot of time to think about it. "I'm tired of this. Every day I'm being sold to a different club. Today I'm saying once and for all that I'm not leaving Santos right now."

Real lose Portuguese duo | Sky Sports
Real Madrid have announced that Fabio Coentrao and Pepe have been sidelined with injuries but have not disclosed the time for which the Portuguese pair will be out of action. Both the players picked up muscle strains during their 1-0 defeat to Levante in Valencia in the Primera Liga on Sunday evening.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho unhappy with Sami Khedira - ESPN Soccernet
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was happy to attach a large portion of the blame for his side's first defeat of the season to midfielder Sami Khedira. Khedira was sent off before half-time against Levante in Valencia, and Mourinho's men were unable to overcome their numerical disadvantage as Arouna Kone's 68th-minute strike sealed the game in the hosts' favour.

Valencia to pay tribute to Benitez - Yahoo! Eurosport
Early La Liga pace-setters Valencia have said they will honour former coach Rafa Benitez before hosting Barcelona on Wednesday, perhaps seeking inspiration for a genuine title challenge this season. Benitez led Valencia to the Spanish league title in 2002 and 2004 before leaving for Liverpool and is the only coach to have denied Real Madrid and Barca the top spot in the last 11 years.

Verdú nursing bruises | LFP
Espanyol midfielder Joan Verdú has undergone a series of medical tests after he was substituted in the weekend meeting with Zaragoza. Doctors detected bruising to is right thigh muscle on Monday. Medical staff will be keeping tabs on the player during the next 24 hours but he may be sidelined for the mid-week clash with Getafe.

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