Cesc Fabregas was in fine form for Barcelona as they crushed Rayo Vallecano 6-0 at the Nou Camp on Saturday evening.
Billed as one of the most straightforward games for Barca this season, opponents Rayo Vallecano succumbed to yet another Barcelona thrashing as they were brushed aside with ease.
Relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano are one of Europe’s prettiest sides, playing an expansive pass-and-move game which mirrors that of Barcelona’s famed tiki-taki style. However, they lack defensive discipline, and against Barcelona in recent years they have been badly exposed.
For the Catalans, Saturday evening’s game was the perfect warm up exercise ahead of Tuesday’s much-anticipated Champions League match with Manchester City at the Etihad stadium. Lionel Messi grabbed two goals, but former Gunner Cesc Fabregas ultimately stole the show with a near-perfect midfield display.
The 26-year-old La Masia youth product recorded a whopping 123 touches – more than any other player on the pitch. The midfield play-maker was impressive in possession as well as an attacking force, completing 90% of his 105 passes, making three key passes and contributing with two assists.
Manchester City staff will have no doubt seen the game, and will be anxious about losing possession in midfield due Barca’s ability to quickly spring counterattacks – typified by the home side’s second goal. Fabregas picked up a loose ball, slid a slide-rule pass through to Messi who gloriously chipped goalkeeper Ruben Martinez.
Fabregas’s two assists added to his impressive tally (12) under Gerardo Martino, and he is now Europe’s clear leader in assists from the top five leagues – three more than Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney who is in joint-second place alongside four more stars.
It now seems a long time ago that the Spanish international became the brunt of Barcelona’s supporters’ criticism, and the Catalans will be hoping Fabregas can maintain his incredible form going into Tuesday’s clash.
Watch out Manchester City!
Will Cesc Fabregas have a say in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at the Etihad stadium?
image: © Ines11thiago