My Soccer World

Football: Record-Breaking Barcelona Surge 15 Points Clear

Posted on: January 18, 2009

MADRID : Barcelona were back to their brilliant best crushing Deportivo La Coruna 5-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday to open up a 15-point lead over Real Madrid and Sevilla at the top of the Spanish first division.

A mesmerising first half display saw Barca score three times with Lionel Messi, voted second behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Player of the Year award on Monday, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o all on the scoresheet.

Henry grabbed his 11th goal of the season with eight minutes left while Eto’o took his personal tally to 18 with a second from the penalty spot in the closing stages.

The Catalan giants are now 17 matches unbeaten in the league and have set a new record of 50 points at the halfway point of the season. Real set the previous best of 47 points last season.

Sevilla can reduce Barcelona’s lead to 12 points with victory over Numanica later on Saturday while Real are at home to Osasuna on Sunday.

Barcelona had struggled to defeat bottom side Osasuna 3-2 last weekend but manager Pep Guardiola kept faith with his first choice XI leaving Andres Iniesta on the bench.

Henry should have scored after just 30 seconds with Messi creating the chance in the penalty area, but the French striker shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Eto’o then almost scored on the quarter hour mark, dummying two defenders only to scuff his shot.

The inevitable breakthrough came on 21 minutes with Messi dribbling at speed before guiding his shot in off the post for his 12th of the season.

Henry went into double figures for the campaign six minutes later heading in a pinpoint cross from Dani Alves.

Messi should have scored his second with a clear header but missed the target and Eto’o spurned another great chance.

The Cameroon forward finally got his goal after 41 minutes with a tap-in.

Henry made it 4-0 on 82 minutes and Eto’o completed the scoring with a late penalty after goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia chopped down Carles Puyol and was subsequently red-carded.

Third-placed Sevilla are hoping to continue their strong start to the season and close to within 12 points of the leaders with a win against Numancia.

Champions Real entertain bottom side Osasuna on Sunday targeting a fourth straight league win under Juande Ramos.

Real have had a turbulent week with president Ramon Calderon resigning on Friday following allegations that he rigged voting at the club’s last annual general assembly.

Calderon, who left in tears, had come under fire for his failure to come good on promises to land top transfer targets Ronaldo and Kaka.

“I am leaving with my hands clean and my conscience clear, with a lot less money and health than when I took up my mandate in 2006,” said Calderon.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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Football: Record-Breaking Barcelona Surge 15 Points Clear

Posted on: January 18, 2009

MADRID : Barcelona were back to their brilliant best crushing Deportivo La Coruna 5-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday to open up a 15-point lead over Real Madrid and Sevilla at the top of the Spanish first division.

A mesmerising first half display saw Barca score three times with Lionel Messi, voted second behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Player of the Year award on Monday, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o all on the scoresheet.

Henry grabbed his 11th goal of the season with eight minutes left while Eto’o took his personal tally to 18 with a second from the penalty spot in the closing stages.

The Catalan giants are now 17 matches unbeaten in the league and have set a new record of 50 points at the halfway point of the season. Real set the previous best of 47 points last season.

Sevilla can reduce Barcelona’s lead to 12 points with victory over Numanica later on Saturday while Real are at home to Osasuna on Sunday.

Barcelona had struggled to defeat bottom side Osasuna 3-2 last weekend but manager Pep Guardiola kept faith with his first choice XI leaving Andres Iniesta on the bench.

Henry should have scored after just 30 seconds with Messi creating the chance in the penalty area, but the French striker shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Eto’o then almost scored on the quarter hour mark, dummying two defenders only to scuff his shot.

The inevitable breakthrough came on 21 minutes with Messi dribbling at speed before guiding his shot in off the post for his 12th of the season.

Henry went into double figures for the campaign six minutes later heading in a pinpoint cross from Dani Alves.

Messi should have scored his second with a clear header but missed the target and Eto’o spurned another great chance.

The Cameroon forward finally got his goal after 41 minutes with a tap-in.

Henry made it 4-0 on 82 minutes and Eto’o completed the scoring with a late penalty after goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia chopped down Carles Puyol and was subsequently red-carded.

Third-placed Sevilla are hoping to continue their strong start to the season and close to within 12 points of the leaders with a win against Numancia.

Champions Real entertain bottom side Osasuna on Sunday targeting a fourth straight league win under Juande Ramos.

Real have had a turbulent week with president Ramon Calderon resigning on Friday following allegations that he rigged voting at the club’s last annual general assembly.

Calderon, who left in tears, had come under fire for his failure to come good on promises to land top transfer targets Ronaldo and Kaka.

“I am leaving with my hands clean and my conscience clear, with a lot less money and health than when I took up my mandate in 2006,” said Calderon.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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