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Magical Messi, Rayo’s six appeal and the submarine sunk: La Liga Round-Up and Highlights
- Updated: 8 April, 2012
Barcelona cut Real Madrid’s lead at the top of la liga down to just three points on Saturday as Lionel Messi struck his 60th goal of the season in the Catalans 4-1 victory at Real Zaragoza.
Zaragoza, looking to continue their recent turnaround in form, began the game brightly and missed a number of chances, including a penalty, before Carlos Aranda put them ahead on the half hour mark.
However, Barça were level again just six minutes later when Carles Puyol pounced after Roberto failed to deal with a corner from the visitors. Three minutes later, and Messi put the reigning champions in front after finishing a swift counter-attack that caught Zaragoza on the back foot.
Despite losing Abraham to a second bookable offence on the stroke of half-time, Zaragoza battled bravely in the second half and managed to keep Barça at bay until five minutes from time when Messi finally grabbed his 60th goal of the season. The Argentine’s powerful penalty left Roberto little chance in the Zaragoza goal and Pedro finished the scoring, when he scored only his second goal of the season deep into stoppage time.
The stand-out performance of the day came at Vallecas where Rayo Vallecano thumped European hopefuls Osasuna, 6-0. The home side broke the stalemate after just five minutes through Jose Maria Movilla, before Michu’s quick brace and Diego Costa’s effort put Rayo four up at the break. Emiliano Armenteros and Tito added to the scoreline for Jose Ramon Sandoval’s side in the second half, moving Rayo back up to 11th. Osasuna remain sixth.
Elswehere, Espanyol came from two goals down at the Cornella-El Prat to rescue a 2-2 draw against Real Sociedad. Carlos Vela stunned the home crowd when his quick-fire double gave the Basques the two-goal advantage after just 15 minutes. However, Vadim Demidov put through his own goal on the stroke of half time, before Manchester City loanee, Wladimir Weiss levelled for Espanyol minutes into the second half.
Sporting Gijon moved closer to the drop after suffering a tepid 2-0 defeat against Getafe at the Collesium Alfonso Perez. Goals from Miku and Diego Castro left Sporting rooted to the foot of the table, seven points from safety.
In the day’s final game, Real Betis secured a crucial three points against fellow strugglers Villarreal after a 3-1 victory at the estadio Benito Villamarin. Roque Santa Cruz and Ruben Castro sent Betis into the break with the lead, before Beñat wrapped the points up for Pepe Mel’s side just past the hour mark. Marco Ruben netted a consolation penalty with the last kick of the game but the defeat leaves Villarreal deep in the relegation fight, just four points above Zaragoza.
RAYO VALLECANO 6-0 OSASUNA
ESPANYOL 2-2 REAL SOCIEDAD
GETAFE 2-0 SPORTING GIJON
REAL ZARAGOZA 1-4 BARCELONA
REAL BETIS 3-1 VILLARREAL
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