Thursday, January 21, 2010

Perfect night for leaders Barça

Barcelona scored

FC Barcelona assumed a five-point lead at the Liga summit with a 4-0 victory over their Copa del Rey conquerors Sevilla FC that followed a 1-0 defeat at Athletic Club for nearest rivals Real Madrid CF.

Revenge exacted
The titleholders had a score to settle with Sevilla after being knocked out of the cup on away goals by their fellow UEFA Champions League contenders in midweek. They required the intervention of Julien Escudé's 49th-minute own goal to get their noses in front but doubled their advantage with 20 minutes remaining courtesy of Pedro Rodríguez's cool chip. Lionel Messi (85, 90+1) then added further gloss, ensuring his side recorded their 14th win in what remains an unbeaten Liga campaign for the Azulgrana.

Early clincher
Victory for Josep Guardiola's team salted Madrid's wounds after they slipped up earlier in the evening. Los Merengues, unbeaten in the league since a 1-0 loss at Barça in November, were undone in just the third minute, UEFA Europa League group stage top scorer Fernando Llorente heading in Francisco Yeste's deflected corner from close range. Athletic climb to seventh with the win but had their night marred in the fifth minute of added time when Carlos Gurpegi was sent off. CA Osasuna are 12th after beating RCD Espanyol 2-0 in the day's other game, Juanfran's low drive and Walter Pandiani's back-post header securing victory inside the opening nine minutes.

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