Mon, February 09, 2009
Sports > Soccer

Barcelona clinches 10th successive Spanish Liga win

2009-02-09 00:45:04 GMT2009-02-09 08:45:04 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o (C) and teammates celebrate a goal against Sporting Gijon during their Spanish first division soccer league match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Feb. 8, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Barcelona's Thierry Henry (R) fights for the ball against Sporting Gijon's Rafael Sastre during their Spanish first division soccer league match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Feb. 8, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Barcelona's Dani Alves (R) and Lionel Messi celebrate a goal against Sporting Gijon during their Spanish first division soccer league match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Fe. 8, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

MADRID, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Barcelona scored its 10th successive Spanish Liga win on Sunday, 3-1 at home to spirited Sporting Gijon.

The victory keeps Josep Guardiola's team 12 points ahead of Real Madrid, who scored a 1-0 home win against Racing Santander on Saturday.

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 on Saturday, Valencia crashed 1-0 away to Osasuna on Sunday.

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

Real are now nine points above Sevilla and ten 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 3-0romp 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 on Sunday, Barcelona made short shrift of Gijon.

Samuel 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, 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.

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