Barcelona give stricken Vilanova winning boost
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.