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Cesc Fabregas tells the world FC Barcelona not finished yet

Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Hiniesta

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, center, celebrates scoring the opening goal from a penalty with team mates Cesc Fabregas, left, and Andres Hiniesta during the Champions League first knock out round soccer match between Barcelona and Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Jon Super

Hard to tell just who Cesc Fabregas had most in his crosshairs – fans, media, future opposition? All of the above? – as he more or less told the world that suggestions of Barcelona demise were certainly premature.

It has been an odd turn, hasn’t it, this flawed bit of chattering class echo that has spun through the media cycle, one suggesting that the current Barcelona bunch had seen its better days?

Tuesday’s 2-0 win at the Etihad will go a long way to chopping that weed at the root. Well, maybe near the bottom of the stem, at least.

City could still rally in this one; Manuel Pellegrini’s men had the tactics right for 50 minutes Tuesday, and remain blessed with a fabulous array of talent. But it’s a long shot – and that’s what Fabregas (pictured, on the left) was reminding everyone as he took a verbal sledgehammer to smash up the burgeoning notion of Barcelona as a mighty club on the wobble:

We are top of the league, we had a great result tonight, we are in the final of the (domestic Kings) cup. There’s nothing else you can ask for. The fans in Spain put so much pressure on you and the team, and that’s what makes everyone feel so special to be playing for this team. Maybe we had to prove a point in a way, and we did it and did it well. People have been talking too much, saying that Barcelona are not the same Barcelona. Now people will have to shut up for a couple of days.”

(MORE: Barca seizes control with 2-0 win at the Etihad)

(MORE: What we learned in Barca’s win Tuesday at Manchester City)

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