Tue, Dec 23, 2008 - Page 20 News List

LFP: Barcelona down Villarreal to go 10 points clear at top

AFP , BARCELONA, SPAIN

Barcelona’s Carles Puyol, left, jumps for the ball against Villarreal’s Joan Capdevila, right, and Marcos Senna, center bottom, during their Spanish La Liga match at the Madrigal Stadium in Villarreal, Spain, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AP

Ten-man Barcelona came from behind to beat Villarreal 2-1 on Sunday and go into the Christmas break with a commanding lead at the top of the La Liga.

After a tight first half, the game came to life following a fine goal for Villarreal set up by a delightful through ball from Giuseppe Rossi and dispatched coolly by Ruben Cani from a tight angle.

Barca were forced to raise their game and showed their championship credentials when Seydou Keita equalized from a near post header and then Thierry Henry slotted home a cross from Xavi Hernandez. The visitors had to play the final 17 minutes a man down after Gerard Pique received his second yellow card.

Earlier, second-placed Sevilla failed to put pressure on leaders Barcelona after they could only manage a 0-0 draw against lowly Real Mallorca.

The expected onslaught never materialized for Sevilla, who faced a Mallorca team whose coach Gregorio Manzano was hanging on to his job.

Deportivo La Coruna maintained their push for a place in Europe with a convincing 4-1 win over Recreativo Huelva.

The Galicians went ahead after 10 minutes when Albert Lopo prodded a shot by Jose Ze Castro over the line and then a penalty conceded by Nasief Morris was converted by Sergio Gonzalez. Adrian Colunga did pull a goal back for the visitors from the penalty spot after a foul by Daniel Aranzubia, but it was only a momentary respite for Recre. A header from Rodolfo Bodipo extended Depor’s lead before the break and in the final minute of the game Felipe Luis completed the scoring.

Bottom-placed Osasuna produced the biggest surprise as they fired five goals past a Getafe side who had come to Pamplona in a rich vein of form to win 5-2.

Osasuna ripped Getafe apart, scoring four goals in the first half through Jaroslav Plasil, Juanfran Torres, Walter Pandiani and Javad Nekounam. After the break substitute Roberto Soldado scored twice for Getafe, but in between Hector Font added another for Osasuna.

In Sunday’s other games Numancia railled from 3-1 down to beat Valladolid 4-3. Racing Santander drew 1-1 with Real Mallorca, Sporting Gijon beat Almeria 1-0 through a Francisco Maldonado strike and Javi Martinez’s 43rd-minute goal gave Athletic Bilbao a 1-0 win against Real Betis in a mid-table battle.

Spanish La Liga

 
Team
P
GD
PTS
1
Barcelona
16
38
41
2
Sevilla
16
9
31
3
Atletico Madrid
16
15
30
4
Valencia
16
10
30
5
Real Madrid
16
8
29
6
Villarreal
16
6
29
7
Deportivo La Coruna
16
2
27
8
Valladolid
16
1
23
9
Malaga
16
-2
22
10
Getafe
16
-2
21
11
Sporting Gijon
16
-11
21
12
Athletic Bilbao
16
-4
19
13
Real Betis
16
-1
18
14
Racing Santander
16
-4
18
15
Numancia
16
-12
17
16
Almeria
16
-9
16
17
Mallorca
16
-12
14
18
Espanyol
16
-11
13
19
Recreativo Huelva
16
-15
13
20
Osasuna
16
-6
12

 

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