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Sergi Roberto revelling in new role

Sergi Roberto says he is quickly adjusting to life at right-back after starring in Barcelona’s 5-0 thrashing of 10-man Sporting Gijon in LaLiga on Saturday.

The 24-year-old is nominally a midfielder, but has been deployed at full-back to good effect by Luis Enrique so far in 2016-17, as Barca adjust to life without Dani Alves, who left for Juventus when his contract expired in the off-season.

Specialist right-back Aleix Vidal, recruited from Sevilla last year, has been unable to oust Roberto in recent matches.

And the academy graduate looks set to make the position his own after supplying two assists and having a hand in another of the goals during an emphatic victory at El Molinon.

“Every game I’m feeling happier, both in attack and defence,” he said.

“I’m getting the opportunity to play, which is what I want, I’m really enjoying it. [I’m] very happy above all for the team.”

The scoreline was somewhat harsh on Sporting, who held their own for much of the contest, but suffered when captain Alberto Lora received a second yellow card in the 74th minute.

“It was a very intense game from Sporting but in the end we were able to win the points,” Roberto said.

“It was difficult to start with, they started very well. We couldn’t play our usual game, they stopped up. But it really helped getting to half-time with two goals.”

The result saw Barca move top of the table on goal difference, level on points with Real Madrid, who can reclaim the outright lead when they face Las Palmas away from home later on Saturday.

Sat 24 Sep, 2016
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