Barcelona take a step towards Liga

April 5th, 2009 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Thierry Henry Madrid, April 5 (DPA) Barcelona took another step towards the Spanish Primera Liga title Saturday, with a tight 1-0 win away to midtable Valladolid on a goal from league top scorer Samuel Eto’o.
Eto’o struck five minutes before half-time in Valladolid, with his 26th Liga goal. He played a classy one-two with Xavi and made it 1-0 with a calm lob Saturday.

Barca coach Josep Guardiola decided to give Lionel Messi, Dani Alves and Thierry Henry a welcome rest after their national team exertions.

The Catalans dominated from start to finish, with 72 per cent possession, and should have won by a greater margin.

“We were very much in control tonight,” said Barca veteran Sylvinho, “and I never thought that we would have problems.”

Their fourth successive win gives Barca a nine-point lead over second-placed Real Madrid.

Sevilla, meanwhile, have consolidated themselves in their place - six points behind Real - with a 1-0 win away to lowly Recreativo Huelva.

The only goal in Huelva was a 32nd minute penalty from Frederic Kanoute, after Poli had pulled down Sevilla’s Renato.

Sevilla are now nine points above fourth-placed Villarreal, who surprisingly crashed 3-0 in Almeria.

Villarreal went on to the field with their minds Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal - and were 3-0 down at half-time, with no way back.

The “Yellow Submarine” is now just five points ahead of the four teams who share fifth place, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Deportivo Coruna and Malaga.

Saturday also brought late home wins for Athletic Bilbao, 2-1 against Mallorca, and for Betis - 3-2 against fellow strugglers Numancia.

With just five minutes left Betis were losing 2-1. They dramatically turned things round with late goals from Capi and Ricardo Oliveira, and are now fifth from bottom.

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