Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

Barcelona give stricken Vilanova winning boost

Published on Dec 23, 2012 6:26 AM
Barcelona's forward Cristian Tello celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Real Valladolid vs FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on Dec 22, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Xavi Hernandez, Lionel Messi and Cristian Tello steered La Liga leaders Barcelona to a 3-1 win at Valladolid on Saturday giving stricken coach Tito Vilanova a timely boost in his battle against cancer.

Vilanova left hospital earlier in the day, 48 hours after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in his saliva gland.

Jordi Roura took charge of Barca in the absence of the 44-year-old Vilanova who will be out of the game for a number of months to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The win allowed Barcelona to finish 2012 with a nine-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid with 16 wins in 17 games, the 2-2 home draw with Real Madrid being the only game in which Barca have dropped points.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!