Bojan’s brace helps Barcelona stay atop in Liga

March 16th, 2009 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, March 16 (DPA) A comfortable 2-0 win away to Almeria kept Barcelona six points clear at the top of football’s Spanish Liga.
Barca’s hero was teenage striker Bojan Krkic, who scored two handsome goals Sunday within the space of three minutes at the start of the second half.

Barca have 66 points from 27 games, six more than second-placed Real Madrid, who scored a stormy 5-2 win away to Athletic Bilbao Saturday.

Barca coach Josep Guardiola gave Bojan a rare start in place of league top scorer Samuel Eto’o - and his gamble paid off handsomely.

Barca dominated from start to finish and would have gone ahead in the first half had it not been for the agility of Almeria goalkeeper Diego Alves.

There was nothing that Alves could do, however, in the 53rd minute when Bojan pushed in the rebound after a Lionel Messi shot had hit the post.

Three minutes later Bojan culminated a classy Barca move with a right-foot shot, which took a deflection off defender Santiago Acasiete and went in to make it 2-0.

Barca then lifted their foot off the pedal, safe in the knowledge that they would soon be flying home with the three points in their luggage.

In third place, nine points behind Real, are Sevilla, who earned a 2-2 draw away to Malaga with late goals from Frederic Kanoute and Luis Fabiano.

Sevilla are five points ahead of fourth-placed Villarreal, who threw away a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 away to defiant Atletico Madrid.

Just as against Barcelona two weeks ago, Atletico were roared on to victory by a euphoric crowd in the Estadio Calderon, and their heroes were again South American strikers Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan.

New coach Abel Resino has taken some harsh criticism since Wednesday for his decision to leave Forlan on the bench for the 0-0 draw away to FC Porto, which saw Atletico say goodbye to the Champions League.

He was wise not to repeat the mistake Sunday - and was rewarded with another determined display from the Uruguayan forward, despite having an early penalty saved by Diego Lopez.

Matias Fernandez gave Villarreal an early lead, Cani made it 2-0 for the visitors seven minutes into the second half. But Aguero immediately reduced arrears.

Ten minutes from time Forlan made it 2-2, and just two minutes later Antonio Lopez headed in a Simao corner to give Atletico another memorable win.

Forlan and company are now joint fifth with Malaga with 43 points from 27 games, just two points behind Villarreal.

Deportivo Coruna fall down to seventh, on 42, after crashing 3-2 away to Sporting Gijon.

Crisis club Valencia stay eighth after being held 1-1 at home by Recreativo Huelva Saturday.

Huelva are now seventh from bottom with 30 points, followed by Betis and Mallorca on 29.

Betis played out a 0-0 draw at home to Osasuna, Mallorca drew 3-3 away to bottom team Espanyol.

Getafe are now fourth from bottom, on 28 points, after a late 1-0 defeat in Valladolid - and coach Victor Munoz is in danger.

Getafe are just two points ahead of third-from-bottom Osasuna. Then come Numancia - who were thrashed 5-0 in Santander - on 23 and hapless Espanyol on 22.

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