Eto’o keeps brilliant Barcelona on top in SpainNovember 9th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS
Madrid, Nov 9 (DPA) Samuel Eto’o kept Barcelona on top of the Spanish Liga by scoring four goals in the 6-0 destruction of lowly Valladolid.Eto’o scored all of his goals in another sparkling first-half display from Barca Saturday night. He now leads the scorers’ chart with 13 goals in 10 games.
Barca have won their last eight league matches and are top with 25 points, two more than Real Madrid, who beat Malaga 4-3 earlier in a dramatic clash. Villarreal are third on 21 points.
Eto’o began the slaughter of Valladolid by scoring with his left foot in the 12th minute, after being set up by Daniel Alves.
In the 30th minute Eto’o made it 2-0 with a powerful low drive. Lionel Messi set him up for the third goal in the 34th minute - then did exactly the same for Eto’o just one minute later.
Barca eased up at the start of the second half. But they switched back up three gears in the last 20 minutes - to the delight of the Camp Nou.
Eidur Gudjohnsen took advantage of more chaos in the Valladolid defence to make it 5-0 in the 71st minute. 12 minutes later Alexander Hleb set up Thierry Henry for the sixth.
“We are really enjoying oursleves at the moment,” said Barca playmaker Xavi Hernandez, “and everything is going right for us.”
Real Madrid triumphed in a very different way from Barca, with less sparkle but with that old never-say-die spirit. Real needed four goals from the in-form Gonzalo Higuain to break the resistance of Malaga, who took the lead three times in the Estadio Bernabeu.
Bernd Schuster’s injury-hit side had to play with 10 men from the 44th minute onwards, thanks to the sending-off of Euro 2008 hero Sergio Ramos.
“This is the kind of game in which we show our fighting spirit,” said Real veteran Michel Salgado.
Eliseu Pereira gave Malaga an early lead, only for Higuain to quickly equalize. Nabil Baha restored Malaga’s lead, only for Higuain to make it 2-2 from the penalty spot, after a clumsy handball by Robson Weligton.
The first half finished with the out-of-form Ramos being sent off.
Malaga got a penalty off their own in the 70th minute, converted by Antonio Apono. But Higuain struck again immediately to make it 3-3.
Twelve minutes from time Higuain was given a dubious penalty after taking a blatant dive. His spot-kick was saved by Francesc Arnau - but the rampant Argentine volleyed home the winner.
Malaga left the field complaining, Real left celebrating a spirited but lucky win.