The former Arsenal captain responded to an inquisition over whether the Spanish champions had a point to prove following their exit from the Champions League last term to eventual winners Bayern Munich.
The 26-year-old midfielder crafted his response as carefully as his team crafted their passes in the game, which saw City reduced to ten men after Martin Demichelis was dismissed on 53 minutes.
“Today was one of those days that everyone was saying Barcelona is not the same Barcelona, you know,” he stated.
“Some people talking a bit too much and as usual now they will have to shut up for a few days.”
Prior to the first leg clash in the round of sixteen in the Champions League on Tuesday, Chelsea manager and former boss of Barcelona’s archrivals in La Liga Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho asserted his belief that City could beat what he described as the worst Barcelona side in many years.
“City have a chance,” Mourinho had stated. "Of course, they have [Lionel] Messi - he is special - and they have more than him. But I think this is the worst Barcelona of many, many years."
The Spain international and World Cup winner appeared to be responding to criticism levelled at the Catalans but was he hitting back at Mourinho specifically? Few other personalities in football, never mind coaches, have had or would have the audacity to attack the Spanish giants who currently sit top of the table in La Liga and now, after Tuesday’s victory, have a very good chance of progressing through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Mourinho is, of course, to be counted upon for ruffling a few feathers – especially in Spain where he became something of a national displeasure after falling out with the national treasure that is the Spain national football team of which both Real Madrid and Barcelona predominantly consist of.
Was Fabregas responding to Mourinho personally? I wouldn’t like to presume but I think it’s safe to say the former Gunners skipper was adamant that this Barcelona team are as capable of going the distance as the many who have preceded them.
image: © Ines11thiago