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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Barcelona dedicate win to Abidal

Barcelona dedicated the 4-0 victory over Getafe that moved them to within a point of Primera Division leaders Real Madrid to team-mate Eric Abidal, who underwent liver transplant surgery on Tuesday.

A brace from Alexis Sanchez and further goals from Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez saw Barca thrash Getafe 4-0 at the Nou Camp to put further pressure on stuttering Madrid.

During the win at the Nou Camp the Barca fans paid their own tribute to Frenchman Abidal, who was undergoing his transplant operation having last year had liver surgery to remove a tumour, and coach Pep Guardiola and his players did likewise following the final whistle.

Guardiola said in his post-match press conference: ''We want to dedicate this win to Abidal. It's a special day because we knew that today he underwent his operation.

''We've been told that Abidal's operation has finished, which has been long and we need to be patient. Throughout the week we will know more. The next few days will be key to see how things are going. We have a lot of faith in someone as strong as him.''

Midfielder Andres Iniesta was among numerous Barca players who echoed the thoughts of their coach, adding: ''I'm happy to dedicate this win to Abi. This is for you!''

The victory was Barca's 10th successive league win as they continue to push Jose Mourinho's Madrid side, who not so long ago boasted a 10-point lead over the defending champions, hard for the title.

Pedro said: ''It's true that it seemed unthinkable that we could cut the distance to Madrid like that, but we've done it and hopefully we can continue like that.''

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes added on his club's website: ''We're in the final stretch of the Liga and we have to grit our teeth, there's not much left to go. We're one point away, we'll see what Madrid do (against Atletico). The work that needed to get done today, is finished.

''It was a great match from the team and now we're only a point behind the leaders.''

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