Vilanova hails Fabregas' influence on Barcelona victory

The Blaugrana coach and fellow team-mates were on hand to laud the midfielder's efforts, in a match that ended in a one-sided affair for the Catalan outfit
Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has highlighted the role midfield lynchpin Cesc Fabregas played in his side's 4-1 demolition of Getafe, praising the former Arsenal man's performance.

Prior to Saturday night's win, the 25-year-old had been heavily criticised for his early season form, with sources claiming an exit from Camp Nou was a possibility.

Based on the playmaker's performances, however, everything is fine and good with the club's La Masia youth product, after his displays in the centre wore his opponents thin, according to his coach.

"We came out very well from the beginning, and controlled the game at all times. We might even have scored one more," appraised Vilanova at the post-match press conference. "Fabregas showed great gusto and played very well."

"It's really not surprising though, given how well he has trained recently. He enjoyed a really great match alongside Xavi."

David Villa, who came off the bench to score, lent his voice in unison to his coach: "Fabregas was euphoric after the game. I suppose that's why he had that grin on his face," the Spain international told Radio Catalunya.

"We have a very versatile tactical set-up, with players who can feature in many positions," continued Gerard Pique to Canal Plus. "We may employ different schemes, but always with the same philosophy, to dominate."

The latest Primera Division success ensures Barcelona head off to begin their Champions League campaign on the right note, something Xavi was eager to highlight: "We face the Champions League with high hopes and eagerness. We'll be playing the game with the intention to win," the veteran told the press conference.

Puyol's injury proved to be the only sour note on the night, with the Barcelona captain joining a lengthy injury list including Andres Iniesta, Alexis Sanchez and Jordi Alba.

"We'll see how bad it is when we conduct more tests tomorrow," Vilanova signed off as saying. "He is an important player, and hope he can be back soon."

The 34-year-old is believed to have strained knee ligaments, with an initial prognosis suggesting the recovery period could be as long as six weeks. Puyol is therefore likely to miss his team's crunch Primera Division tie against Spain champions Real Madrid.