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Oct, 31, 2012

Villa hoping to start more for Barca

David Villa feels the frustration of his limited playing time this season but he again made use of his chance to shine on Tuesday night by scoring in Barcelona's comfortable 3-0 Copa del Rey first leg win at Alaves.

The clinically taken 15-yard snapshot was the Spain international's fourth goal for his club this season, but he has yet to complete 90 minutes since his return from a long absence with a broken leg.

"I am at the best club in the world and the competition to get playing time is very fierce," Villa told reporters after the game. "We play a lot of games and we all have to give our all when the boss needs us. When I am on the pitch I try to do as well as possible."

Villa, who has now started two consecutive games for the first time since breaking his leg at the Club World Cup last December, said he hoped to make it three in a row against Celta Vigo in La Liga at the Camp Nou this weekend, but that decision would be made by Barca coach Tito Vilanova and the club's medical staff.

"I felt good, and able to play the 90 minutes," he said. "I want to play as much as possible, but I am in the hands of the professionals who know what is best. There is another game on Saturday and I hope to be at my best."

At his post-game press conference, Vilanova said he was making sure he does not to over-use Villa, 30, as he builds up his match fitness.

"We are more concerned with the quality of the minutes he plays rather than the quantity," Vilanova said. "I could have let him play a bit longer. But he was worn out defending Alaves' counter-attacks and we had to give some minutes to (Cristian) Tello."

Barca's other goals at the Estadio de Mendizorroza came from Villa's fellow European Championship and World Cup winners Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas. Vilanova was full of praise for the commitment shown by his senior players against the third-tier Basque side.

"These players have won it all, they come here and they put in a great performance against a team that plays in Segunda Division B," Tito said. "You have to be very careful in the early rounds. They played a very serious match."

The coach claimed the tie was not over yet, and his players would need to be focused for the second leg at the Camp Nou in late November.

"You can never believe that a fixture is over before the second game has ended," Vilanova said. "It is up to us to do the same thing we did here in the return leg, we have to take the match seriously. They have a good side, they were very clear on what they had to do and they were always in the match."

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