Tue, Nov 14, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Barcelona go back on top


FC Barcelona's Ronaldinho celebrates after scoring his second goal against Real Zaragoza at the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona on Sunday.


Ronaldinho put Barcelona back on top on Sunday in the Spanish Liga, scoring twice in a 3-1 come-from-behind defeat of Zaragoza.

The win gives Barca 23 points from 10 games and puts them back on top of Sevilla, who were held to a 0-0 draw in Santander.

Sevilla are now second on 22 points. In third place on 20 are Real Madrid, who enjoyed a 4-1 romp at lowly Osasuna -- with Ruud Van Nistelrooy scoring four times.

Ronaldinho almost scored four as well, so majestic was he against hapless Zaragoza.

Zaragoza went ahead in the 16th minute when defender Gabriel Milito volleyed in a corner from close range.

Ronaldinho levelled in the 31st minute by heading in a far-post corner.

The second half was mostly a scrappy affair, with the rhythm broken up by the sending-off of Thiago Motta and Milito.

The clash burst back into life in the final minutes, with Barca pouring forward and Zaragoza resisting bravely.

In the 85th minute, Ronaldinho made it 2-1 with one of his trademark free-kicks. He had another free-kick in injury time -- hitting the crossbar and rebounding to Javier Saviola, who headed in Barca's third goal.

Their third defeat pulls Zaragoza down to fourth with 19 points, level with surprise package Getafe, who beat Mallorca 1-0.

Earlier on Sunday, Sevilla had been relieved to escape Santander with a goalless draw. Their hero was keeper Andres Palop, who pulled off several sharp saves.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, made short shrift of troubled Osasuna.

The local defense was impotent against the rampant Van Nistelrooy, who scored two goals with his right foot, one with his left and one with a header.

The latest defeat leaves Osasuna fourth from bottom and coach Jose Angel Ziganda in big trouble.

Real Sociedad stay bottom with just three points, after being held to a 1-1 draw by Espanyol.

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