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FC Barcelona News: 2 November 2013; Alexis Sanchez Decides Catalan Derby, Barça Have Time Off Until Monday

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David Ramos

FC Barcelona v Espanyol: Alexis Sánchez decides the derby too (1-0) | FC Barcelona
The day after roast chestnuts and Halloween, FC Barcelona took all three points from the local derby with Espanyol. The game was decided by a Neymar assist for an Alexis Sánchez who is enjoying his finest season yet for the club. The Chilean had already played a key role in the clásico and in Tuesday’s game in Vigo, and once again found the back of the net in this bank holiday encounter.

Gerardo Martino: "We lacked consistency when we attacked" | FC Barcelona
After this evening’s victory over Espanyol, Gerardo Martino talked to the press about his impression of the match. The manager noted that the team are performing well when it comes to results, but that his men must push themselves to improve when it comes to their play: "We are nearly perfect when it comes to result. We are capable of playing better, we can always play better."

Piqué: "Sometimes you have to be practical" | FC Barcelona
"When a game or circumstances require it, you have to be practical. I know the people want us to play well and score lots of goals, but that’s not always possible", he said. "Historically these are the kind of games Barça didn’t win, and that cost us titles and leagues".

Andrés Iniesta: "I don't believe we played poorly" | FC Barcelona
"There are matches with good phases and bad phases," said Andrés Iniesta after this evening’s game against Espanyol. "We’re counting nearly all of our games as victories and that should give us confidence to improve and keep on winning games."

Alexis steps out of the shadows for Barcelona -
The man for the big occasion. Alexis Sanchez struck to settle a complicated Catalan derby against Espanyol on Friday, having hit a wonderful winner in the Clasico against Real Madrid last weekend. Following two largely disappointing campaigns and some dreadful displays in the biggest games of all, suddenly the Chilean is Barca's go-to guy - just when they need him most.

Alexis Sánchez the deadlock breaker | FC Barcelona
Alexis Sánchez scored his 33rd goal for Espanyol last night. In 101 appearances, his goals have tended to be decisive, 14 of them having put Barça into the lead, as was again the case in the derby. 12 others have served to extend leads, 6 were equalisers, and one was to narrow the gap.

Recovery session and time off until Monday | FC Barcelona
Barça are in the unusual situation of having played their weekend fixture on Friday night, meaning they have the rest of the weekend off. After the narrow win in the derby with Espanyol, the squad met on Saturday morning in the Ciutat Esportiva for a recovery session for the players that started the night before

Xabi Alonso to make first start of season for Real Madrid - ESPN FC
"I am going to make some rotations thinking of Tuesday’s game, just because I have fresh players," Ancelotti said. "Tomorrow we need to play a game with intensity, so some players who did not feature against Sevilla are going to play. We need to win, while playing well." A midfield shake-up will see Xabi Alonso make his first start in five months, after coming through a substitute appearance against Sevilla unscathed, Ancelotti said.

Man United could move for Sami Khedira again - ESPN FC
Khedira, 26, was a regular in the Real team in October but said last month that the club had treated him unfairly. He told Kicker: "I'm not a Spanish player, I did not cost a lot of money and I am one of [former manager Jose] Mourinho's disciples. I started the season on the bench or in the stands. Even if I play well, I am the scapegoat and so will not be properly valued."

Baptistao back for Atleti | Football Espana
Leo Baptistao has returned to training for Atletico Madrid, and will be available for the match against Athletic Bilbao. The summer signing from Ray Vallecano has been out for the past two weeks with a sprained ankle, but is now back to full fitness.

Diego Godin agrees a contract extension with Atletico Madrid | Sky Sports
Diego Godin has agreed a contract extension with Atletico Madrid that will keep him at the Primera Division club until the summer of 2018. The Uruguay international joined Atletico from Villarreal on a five-year deal in 2010 and has since become an integral part of the side that won the Europa League in 2012 and last season's Copa del Rey.

Dorado out for a month | Football Espana
Villarreal defender Jose Dorado will be out for at least a month after suffering a hamstring injury. The 31-year-old picked up the knock in Thursday’s loss to Getafe, and tests this weekend have revealed that the centre-back has been brought down with a tear in his left hamstring.

Elche fans to be fined for racism of Granada defender Allan-Romeo - ESPN FC
According to local press reports, police identified two individuals as those guilty of making the noises. Both the club and supporters’ group, Agrupacion de Penas del Elche CF, later issued statements acknowledging that the abuse had taken place and expressing regret, but stopping well short of apologising to Nyom.

Betis ‘won’t tolerate’ fan interruptions - Yahoo Eurosport UK
"Safety was guaranteed at all times. Specifically for this day security had been reinforced," explained Betis in a communication released today. "If there was any presence of fans at the training ground, it was strictly reserved and was on authorisation of personnel from the club. Real Betis officially states that it cannot tolerate under any circumstances the termination of training for the presence of people outside the club."

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