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Feb 10, 2013

Sanchez relieved to break goal drought

Alexis Sanchez was delighted after netting his first La Liga goal of the season in Barcelona's emphatic 6-1 victory over Getafe in Sunday's early kick off.

• Blog: Getafe for brunch

Chilean forward Sanchez was the first of half a dozen different scorers as Barca romped to their 20th league victory of the season to open up a 16-point gap over Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi notched the second, meaning he has now scored in 13 consecutive La Liga matches, while the rout was completed by strikes from David Villa, Cristian Tello, Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique.

Sanchez admitted he was relieved to finally get off the mark in the league, but said his goal drought owed more to bad luck than bad finishing.

He told Canal +: "I still think the same as from the beginning of the season. I'm the player I am and today the goal came but I still feel the same. Chances were made before but they did not fall."

Barca assistant coach Jordi Roura is overseeing first-team affairs with head coach Tito Vilanova still in New York undergoing cancer treatment, and he singled out Sanchez and Iniesta for particular praise.

"We're very pleased with his work and attitude,'' the Barca number two said of Alexis. "He's been a bit unlucky lately and I think he scored a great goal. That goal gave him a lot of confidence.

"(Iniesta) played at an extremely high level. He plays with such ease. He makes football look so easy. This is what makes him great.''

The match kicked off at 1200 local time - the first time Barca have played so early in La Liga - and Roura was delighted to see 85,610 fans in attendance.

"The players were at an extraordinary level," he added. "They played with a lot of intensity from the first minute. It was an unusual time to play but we had a party in the stadium. (A full stadium) is important for the spectacle.''

Iniesta, who was involved in Barca's first three goals before scoring the fifth, was typically modest in his post-match analysis. "It's good that we all contributed, but in the end the best thing is that the team won and that we played well,'' he told the club's official website.

"There are seasons that I've played almost every match. I try to stay at the same level and I try to improve. It was a great morning for football. It was spectacular.''

Pique too was more than content with how Barca responded to the challenge of their first early kick-off. "We felt great on the pitch,'' the centre-back said. "A lot of people were able to make it to the stadium and the atmosphere was fantastic. It wouldn't be an inconvenience if we had to play at the same time in the future.

"We have a very complete team. A few players that don't usually enjoy a lot of minutes (on the pitch) got to play today and they proved that they are at a good level. This gives us tranquility. We're lucky that we get to enjoy Andres (Iniesta), and we have to take advantage of the fact that he plays for Barca.''

Cesc Fabregas, who was an unused substitute in the early kick off, said on Twitter: "Nice Sunday morning, we have enjoyed a victory in a great atmosphere in Camp Nou! A special thanks to all fans for your support!"

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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