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FC Barcelona News: 17 December 2012; Barça Extend La Liga Lead, Club Honors Three Former Players

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Jasper Juinen

FC Barcelona - Atlético de Madrid: Leaders throw down the gauntlet (4-1) | FC Barcelona
Falcao opened the scoring for the visitors within the first half hour to give them a glimmer of hope, but Barça hit back powerfully with two goals before the break from Adriano and Busquets and a brace from Messi after the break finished off any resistance and confirmed Barça’s dominance of the Spanish League.

FC Barcelona vs Atlético Madrid: Facts and figures from a key win | FC Barcelona
With his two second half goals, Leo Messi made it 90 for the calendar year 2012 – and there’s still one game to go this year to improve on his astounding record. With three games left to play before the mid-point of the season, Messi has already scored 25 league goals this campaign – a figure no other player has ever recorded.

Vilanova: "We've won a lot of points, but it hasn't been easy" | FC Barcelona
Barça thrashed their immediate pursuer in La Liga, Atlético Madrid, and are now nine points clear at the top of the table.In addition, Real Madrid are 13 points adrift of the league leaders. However, Tito Vilanova made sure to downplay Barça’s advantage in the post-match press conference.

Busquets: "The title race is far from over" | FC Barcelona
Sergio Busquets scored the go-ahead goal against Atlético Madrid, his first of the season, after Falcao gave the visiting side the lead in the first half. The midfielder explained that after he received the rebound in the area that "I knew that the defender and the keeper would go to the ground, that’s why I waited to shoot.

Gerard Piqué: "Only we can lose La Liga" | FC Barcelona
After FC Barcelona victory over Atlético Madrid this Sunday, Gerard Piqué was interviewed on Barça TV’s El Marcador. He declared that "only we can lose La Liga," and "we can allow ourselves the luxury of losing points, but we cannot allow ourselves to fall into a bad run of form." Piqué added that the Liga is far from over.

FC Barcelona’s standout players against Atlético Madrid: Messi, Adriano and Busquets | FC Barcelona
Messi isn’t the only one breaking records in 2012. FC Barcelona managed to break the 170-goal mark that was set last season. In fact, Tito Vilanova’s men have netted 172 times this year: 118 were scored in La Liga, 26 in the Champions League, 24 in the Cup and 4 in the Super Cup. Here’s an overview of Barça’s standout players against Atlético Madrid.

Gerard Piqué, 200 official matches with the first team | FC Barcelona
Piqué, who celebrated his first century for FC Barcelona on September 22 of 2010 (Barça-Sporting), played his 200th official match for Barça with a goal tally of 14 goals for the Blaugrana.

Tribute to Deco, Sylvinho and Keita | FC Barcelona
Deco, Sylvinho and Seydou Keita were the centre of attention before the Barça-Atlético Madrid match this Sunday at the Camp Nou. The three ex-FC Barcelona players were recognised by the fans and the Club moments before kickoff and during halftime.

'I have a family and I'm not going to take any risks' - Abidal cautious over return - Goal.com
Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has promised that he will not to return to action too soon following his liver transplant earlier this year. The Frenchman underwent the procedure in April and has been working his way back to health since. Football is not the chief priority for the former Olympique Lyonnais left-back, who has said that his priorities lie with his family.

Barcelona tracking Courtois | Football Espana
The young Belgian has impressed in La Liga and is currently midway through a second consecutive season on loan at the Calderon from Chelsea. The 20-year-old, who cost the Stamford Bridge outfit £8m in the summer of 2011, is now reportedly a target for Barca, as a potential long-term replacement for Victor Valdes between the sticks.

Real Madrid lose further ground against Espanyol - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Albin bundled the ball in after Real failed to clear a corner in the 88th minute, and Barca can extend their lead over their arch-rivals to 13 points in the late game if they can overcome second-placed Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp. Jose Mourinho's team are third with 33 points from 16 games, four behind second-placed Atletico. Espanyol are 19th with 12.

Worst Madrid for five years | Football Espana
Real Madrid’s start to the 2012-13 season is statistically their worst since a similar beginning to the 2008-09 campaign. With 15 points dropped, it is the worst start to a season for the club since 2008’s return of 29 points from the first 16 games.

Levante edge out Real Zaragoza - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Rubén García gave Los Granotes the lead for good in the 19th minute. Rubén García scored with his left foot into the lower left of the goal after receiving a pass from Míchel. Rubén García was on the pitch for 78 minutes against Real Zaragoza. The midfielder scored in the 19th minute.

Rayo Vallecano stun Valencia - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Domínguez plied his trade for 90 minutes during the match. He scored in the 83rd minute and took three shots. With 21 points Los Che trail Real Betis by four for the final Europa League spot, and have compiled a record of six wins, seven losses and three draws on the season.