Fabregas plays down Barca's title chances

April 8, 2012

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas insists Real Madrid remain favorites to win the Primera Division title despite closing the gap on the leaders to three points on Saturday night.

The Catalan side had to come from behind to beat 10-man Real Zaragoza 4-1, with Lionel Messi scoring twice to reach the 60-goal mark for the season.

Carles Puyol and Pedro Rodriguez were also on target for Barca, who now sit within a victory of leaders Real.

Madrid would restore a six-point advantage with a win over Valencia on Sunday night, but Fabregas retains hope they can catch their rivals.


"They're still favorites to win it," he said on fcbarcelona.com.

"We weren't expecting to be three points behind Real Madrid at this point in the competition, but there's a lot of Liga still left to be played.

"It was a difficult match (against Zaragoza), the conditions weren't optimal, but the team played with a lot of character - we deserved the victory.

"The conditions were difficult: the pitch, the wind and because we played against a rival that complicated the game. They're playing for everything.

"It was a very hard-fought match. Despite it all, it's a shame to play on a pitch like this, on such a dry field where the ball is so painfully slow.

"We had a lot of chances that we weren't able to capitalize on."

Coach Pep Guardiola was also relieved to get past a Zaragoza side battling to escape the bottom three.

"We knew how difficult this game was going to be," he said.

"This past month Zaragoza have shown that they have a lot of intensity and fortitude.

"It was extremely difficult and complicated. I'm very proud of our victory."