Barcelona on a 10-match winning streak in Liga

February 9th, 2009 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Thierry HenryMadrid, Feb 9 (DPA) Barcelona scored their 10th successive Spanish Liga win beating spirited Sporting Gijon 3-1 at home with two goals from top scorer Samuel Eto’o.
The latest exhibition Sunday keeps Josep Guardiola’s team 12 points ahead of Real Madrid. Real, for their part, are looking solid in second place, thanks to the defeats suffered by Sevilla and Valencia.

Sevilla surprisingly lost 2-1 at home to crosstown rivals Betis Saturday, Valencia crashed 1-0 away to Osasuna Sunday.

The only goal in chilly Pamplona was headed in by Osasuna defender Miguel Flano, in the 58th minute. Despite all the talent and experience they had on the field, Valencia failed to create a single clear chance to equalize.

Osasuna are now fourth from bottom, with Numancia, Espanyol and Mallorca below them.

Real are now nine points above Sevilla and 10 above Valencia, who are level on 37 points with fifth-placed Villareal, who beat Numancia 2-1 with a brace from Italian starlet Guiseppe Rossi.

Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, were moving up to sixth, with a 3-0 romp away to Recreativo Huelva, in what was a dream start for new coach Abel Resino.

Atletico’s South American strikers Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero tore Huelva apart in the first half, with Forlan scoring two and Aguero one.

Malaga are level with Atletico on 35 points after coming from behind to beat Almeria 3-2, with two late goals from veteran Salva.

Later Sunday, Barcelona made short shrift of Gijon.

“We played well tonight,” said Barca captain Carles Puyol, “and we are in good physical shape.”

Eto’o opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, culminating from close range a textbook counter-attack launched by Andres Iniesta and continued by Thierry Henry.

Five minutes before half-time, Eto’o made it 2-0 with a fierce drive, after being played through by the unusually quiet Lionel Messi.

Eto’o is top of the Liga scoring chart with 21 goals, four ahead of David Villa of Valencia.

In the 66th minute, man-of-the-match Iniesta set up Daniel Alves to score the third goal with a powerful near-post drive.

Four minutes later Kike Mateo pulled a goal back for Gijon with a low drive, but it came much too late to save the out-classed visitors.

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