Thursday 22 March 2018 / 07:31 AM

Barcelona Cruise

Barcelona restored their thirteen point advantage at the summit of La Liga on Sunday night with a comprehensive 3-1 victory at home to Rayo Vallecano – which rounded off a weekend full of goals in the Spanish top flight.


34 goals were netted in total across the ten fixtures and it was no surprise to see David Villa and Lionel Messi wade in once again with Barca’s contribution to that tally.

It was Villa who got the hosts up and running after 25 minutes, latching onto a Messi through ball before firing into the top corner past Rayo keeper Ruben who faced a constant onslaught throughout the first half.

Villa and Messi combined once again five minutes prior to half time, but it was the latter on this occasion who struck home with a consummate finish.

Consequently, this would be the 18th league match in a row in which Messi had got his name on the score sheet – and the world player of the year bagged another for good measure on 57 minutes, feeding from the in tune Villa once more to lift the ball sweetly over the hapless visiting stopper.

Veteran Raul Tamudo gave the travelling fans something to shout about with 20 minutes remaining but it proved no more than scant consolation as the Catalan giants marched once step closer to the title.

With Barca now all but out of sight, Madrid rivals Real and Atletico are vying for the runners-up spot and it’s as you were after round 28, after both sides registered comfortable successes against lowly opposition

Real recovered quickly from conceding an early goal to crush Mallorca 5-2 at the Bernabeu with Gonzalo Higuain at the double, the Argentine clearly sending out a message of intent to boss Jose Mourinho as he seeks to become a regular starter for Los Merengues in the final weeks of the campaign.

And in Osasuna, Diego Costa also hit a brace to seal a 0-2 win for Atletico who are now surely safe, along with Real, in the Champions League qualifying positions with fifth placed Valencia a massive 15 points adrift despite their best efforts with a 3-0 triumph over Real Betis at the Mestalla.

Real Sociedad are likely to be the team celebrating the most this weekend however after they moved into the top four with a crushing 4-1 home rout of Valladolid on Saturday afternoon.

The Basque outfit continued their impressive recent form with a dominant, clinical display to give them every chance of earning an unlikely pass to Europe’s most prestigious competition next season.

Down at the bottom, Deportivo beat Celta Vigo 3-1 at the Riazor on Friday night and hopes of survival are now becoming slightly more realistic for La Coruna with the gap to 17th placed Zaragoza reduced to six points following their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Sevilla.

Elsewhere, there were fine wins for Getafe and Espanyol over Bilbao and Malaga respectively, whilst Granada and Levante played out the only draw of the La Liga weekend at Los Carmenes with honours shared at 1-1.





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Chris Kisby

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