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Posted: 07 Mar 2011 09:01 PM PST

Fabregas aims to break Barcelona hearts at Nou Camp

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 12:48:00

BARCELONA: Skipper and midfielder Cesc Fabregas is only interested in winning for Arsenal when he faces Barcelona in their last-16 return-leg match at Nou Camp tomorrow (3.45am).

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc Fabregas

Fabregas, a World Cup winner with Spain, returns to the team he left as a teenager for the first time in a competitive club fixture, following another summer of transfer speculation over a £30 million move.

However, after battling back to fitness from a hamstring injury to play tomorrow, he insists delivering a performance for the Gunners is his only focus.

"I am not here to shut up comments or to beat anyone specifically or whatever. I am just here to win for Arsenal Football Club," said Fabregas.

"Sometimes I don't understand these reactions or comments about people saying I want this or I feel this. I want to win for Arsenal and that's it. That's easy for me.

"I don't put anything extra in my head because I play against Barca at Nou Camp.

"It is a special game for everyone because it is a special stadium and we play against a good team and that's it. Its one more game that we want to win. We want to do well for the club and we want to get through to the next stage of the Champions League.

"There is nothing more to it than that — we just want to go through and get to the last eight."

However, Fabregas revealed the prospect of having to miss another chance to face his old club was a difficult period.

"Over the last few weeks I have suffered a bit because I was a bit upset because I did not know whether I was going to make it, but I have great feelings now," he said.

"Sometimes you can't take a big gamble to come back quicker. I have a lot of experience in that so I prefer to be safe."

Fabregas insists, despite critics claiming otherwise in the wake of their shock League Cup final 2-1 defeat to Birmingham, that Arsenal do have the spirit needed to deliver some long-overdue silverware this season.

"We have played so many games where we've shown we have character, we have potential and that we are the present," he said.

"We want to win things for the club and tomorrow is obviously a fantastic test for all of us as a team and individually. We want to show how good we are and it's a fantastic opportunity for the team to have a great game."

Fabregas missed last season's quarterfinal encounter at Nou Camp after suffering a broken leg in the first tie in London.

He knows full well that his side, boosted by the possible return of leading scorer Robin van Persie, cannot allow Lionel Messi to run riot again — the Argentine ace having scored all four goals against them last April.

"We know you can't give space to Messi because he scored four goals and was outstanding," said Fabregas.

"For the rest, we showed what we have to do in the first leg a couple of weeks ago and we played some good football.

"We have to play our game as well — we cannot always be focussed on thinking what are they going to do or just defending. We are Arsenal and we have to make ourselves respected as well and we have to play our game as well as we can."

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It’s a final, says Iniesta

Posted: 07 Mar 2011 08:53 PM PST

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 12:48:00

BARCELONA: Creative Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta admitted their clash with Arsenal in the last-16 return-leg at Nou Camp tomorrow (3.45am) is like a final.

The Spanish champions trail 2-1 from their first leg at Emirates Stadium last month and need to win to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Barca have a strong record at home and defeated the Gunners 4-1 in front of their own supporters in the second leg of their last-eight tie last season, but Iniesta admits that it will be tough this time around.

"For us there are no doubts," said the Spain international. "This is the first final of this season and we can't fail at home and with the support of our fans."

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has recovered from his injury and will feature but Iniesta believes they cannot focus on just one player.

"We have analysed Arsenal and Fabregas is not exclusively the key man," said the 26-year-old. "Jack Wilshere is also very important for them. He is still young, but could go far and be the chief in the team."

Another Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets is at pains to stress the importance of the contest. He believes it is the most important game of the Catalans' season as their European hopes ride on it.

Busquets is leading the charge as Barca cope without the injured Carles Puyol, and suspended Gerard Pique at the heart of defence.

"We have some key players missing, but this was the same last year and things went well for us then," said the Spain international.

"It's the most important game of the season, and we want the advantage of playing at home to count. It will be a different game to last year. The 4-1 may have looked easy, but it wasn't.

"Arsenal? They have a young team, but they also have the experience of having played in finals. I think Fabregas is their most important player as he brings tranquility to them."

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