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FC Barcelona News: 15 December 2013; Barça Earn Hard Fought Win Against Villarreal, Xavi Out of Copa del Rey Game

David Ramos

FC Barcelona v Villarreal: Three hard earned points (2-1) | FC Barcelona
They say that the best things are those you have to fight to earn. And on Saturday, FC Barcelona certainly had their work cut out to get the better of a defiant Villarreal at the Camp Nou. A Neymar penalty set things up nicely, but Musacchio’s early second half goal meant it was all back to square one for Barça. But some terrific football eventually paid off with Neymar grabbing his second goal of the evening to ensure three vital points.

Neymar Jr: five goals in four days | FC Barcelona
After his hat trick in the Champions League, Neymar Jr added to his goalscoring streak this evening. Between Wednesday (Celtic FC) and this Saturday (Villarreal), the Brazilian has scored five goals, the same number of goals he’s scored in his opening 19 matches with FC Barcelona.

Tata Martino, pleased with his players after this evening's victory over Villarreal | FC Barcelona
Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino talked to the press after this evening’s hard-fought match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal (2-1). The Argentinian started off by saying that "this is the match that has made me the most happy since I’ve been at Barça," and he highlighted the importance of the victory particularly "because of the way we played and because of the quality of our rival."

Jordi Alba: “A very special night” | FC Barcelona
Jordi Alba radiated optimism and a positive attitude during his interview after the Villarreal match. Speaking for the first time since making his Camp Nou comeback following injury, he revealed: “It’s been a very special night for me because of the importance of the win”. “We’re feeling good. Our pressing was really great”.

Iniesta hopes to finish 2013 with victories | FC Barcelona
The best reaction after losing two consecutive matches is winning the next two. With excellent football and especially with a lot of ambition, Barça secured, against Villarreal, its second victory in as many games after defeating Celtic (6-1) on Wednesday. "It was very difficult but we did a lot to secure the result," said Andrés Iniesta, who returned to the starting line-up this evening. "We’re improving, and we’ll continue to improve," he added.

Xavi rested for Cartagena match | FC Barcelona
Club doctors confirmed today that Xavi Hernández has strained the soleus muscle in his right leg and will miss Tuesday’s round of 32 Spanish Cup match against Cartagena as a precaution. The international midfielder came on for the last half hour of the match against Villarreal last Saturday.

BARÇA magazine features Gerard Piqué and family | FC Barcelona
The family character of FC Barcelona has always been one of its main identifying features. This December, issue 66 of our members’ magazine ‘Revista Barça’ features the family of Gerard Piqué. The Piqué’s can boast four generations of Barça members, including grandfather, Amador Bernabeu, who was a Club director for 23 years and now represents FC Barcelona at the UEFA.

Meho Kodro' s year at FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
Meho Kodro features in the latest edition of Barça TV’s 'El 9', which looks at the Bosnian striker’s year at Barça, the 1995/96 season. Kodro signed from Real Sociedad after the departure of several members of the Dream Team, with Johan Cruyff having to largely reconstruct his team in what turned out to be his final season on the bench at the Camp Nou.

Damm CF – Juvenil A: Giant step toward the league title (0-4) | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona’s Juvenil A team took a giant step at the top of the table this afternoon as they took on Damm FC. Jordi Vinyals’ men defeated the home team thanks to their brilliant football in a week marked by the end of the UEFA Youth League group stage, where Barça finished first. Enguene, Palencia, Maxi and Munir all got on the score sheet.

Pepe rescues point for under-par Real against Osasuna - Yahoo Eurosport UK
Pepe headed home a late equaliser for Real Madrid to grab a point from Osasuna as the home side held the title-chasers to 2-2 at the Estado Reyno de Navarra. Real were in disarray in the first half as they went two goals and a man down after Oriol Riera bagged two free headers before captain Sergio Ramos got sent off for two bookable offences - the 18th dismissal of his career.

Real Madrid director hits out at referee following Osasuna draw -
Real Madrid director Miguel Pardeza has hit out at the performance of referee Carlos Clos Gomez following the 2-2 draw with Osasuna on Saturday. Sergio Ramos was sent off for two bookable offences in the first half, the second coming for a perceived elbow on Oriol Riera which left coach Carlo Ancelotti fuming at full-time.

Me-space: Cristiano Ronaldo now has his own social network | Early Doors - Yahoo Eurosport UK
Cristiano Ronaldo recently announced plans to open a museum dedicated to himself in his hometown. "That's great!" you say, while wearing nothing but Cristiano Ronaldo brand underpants. "But what am I supposed to do when the museum is closed or when they kick me out for trying to live inside the exhibits?" Well, you're in luck, because now Ronaldo has launched his own social network to ensure his fans can obsess over him to an all-consuming degree.

Granada too strong for Rayo | Sky Sports Football
Fran Rico put the visitors ahead with a free-kick on 35 minutes and Paco Jemez's side were dealt another blow before half-time as full-back Nacho was sent off for receiving two bookings, the latter for diving to win a penalty. Rayo fought hard for an equaliser for the remaining 45 minutes despite their numerical disadvantage, but lost all hope when Riki added a second for Granada in the 88th minute.

Santa Cruz earns Malaga the points |
Malaga put daylight between themselves and the Primera Division relegation zone with a narrow but deserved 1-0 win over Getafe. Former Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz headed in the only goal of the game in the 75th minute, shortly after coming on as a substitute. Bernd Schuster's side moved five points clear of the bottom three as a result of the win, leapfrogging Celta Vigo in 14th.

Malaga name Husillos as sporting director - Yahoo Eurosport UK
"We need to give this Malaga some time," he told reporters. "It’s different club now - when I left six months ago I had to take lots of decisions in a very short space of time, and I thought it was a time for a break. "I took a decision that I believed was right. Now I’m joining something that is already working. "My relationship with the club has always been good and perfect.

Almeria pay costly penalty | Sky Sports Football
The midfielder blasted the spot-kick over the bar in the 24th minute to squander a chance to move his side away from relegation zone. Despite this, the goalless draw lifted Almeria out of the bottom three on goal difference, as Espanyol missed the chance to move into the top half of the table.

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