My Soccer World

Football: Barcelona Recover To Beat Racing Santander, Move Clear Of Real Madrid

Posted on: February 2, 2009

MADRID: Supersub Lionel Messi scored twice as nine-man Barcelona, with their 5,000th Spanish league goal, came from behind to beat Racing Santander 2-1 and move 12 points clear of Real Madrid on Sunday.

A Nikola Zigic penalty had put Racing in front on 56 minutes before Messi changed the game, equalising just five minutes after coming on before scoring an 81st minute winner with his weaker right foot.

Messi’s personal goals tally for the season is now 16 while Barcelona, unbeaten in 20 games, recorded a ninth straight league win.

“You always know that Messi is capable of creating a goal and fortunately for us he created two,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “We had dominated but without creating much going forward against a well-organised Racing side.”

Barcelona had been in cup action during midweek – defeating Espanyol to reach the semi-finals – and looked off the pace in the first half.

Guardiola had opted to give Messi a rest on the substitutes bench with Andres Iniesta taking his place.

Racing had the first opening after 11 minutes with Jonathan Pereira’s shot hitting the post.

In the 56th minute, Racing won a penalty when Rafael Marquez committed a silly foul on Perreira and Zigic coolly converted the spot-kick.

Guardiola responded by throwing on Messi for Sergi Busquets on the hour mark and it quickly paid dividends.

Five minutes after coming on Messi equalised from close range after Xavi’s header had come off the crossbar.

Messi then struck again controlling on his chest before firing in a right-footed shot for Barcelona’s 5,000th league goal.

“He (Messi) had two half chances and scored both of them,” Racing coach Juan Ramon Muniz said.

Barcelona finished the match with nine men after Marquez and Gerard Pique were sent off late on for cycnical fouls.

Real had defeated Numancia 2-0 on Saturday for a sixth successive league victory and must again be frustrated that Barca collected maximum points.

The game saw history made as Real captain Raul scored his 307th goal for the club to equal Alfredo di Stefano’s all-time goalscoring record.

“Raul could certainly get 400 or 450 goals as he is still young,” di Stefano told daily Marca. “He is only 31 and could play until he is 37 or 38.”

Elsewhere, Villarreal continue to stutter falling to a 3-0 loss against Deportivo La Coruna.

Atletico Madrid’s miserable year also continued as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Valladolid on Sunday. Atletico have yet to win in 2009 and were jeered off the pitch at the Vicente Calderon.

“Am I worried about my job? I have a contract that I signed in front of two others and they haven’t told me that it will end before the set date,” explained Atletico coach Javier Aguirre.

“I have faith in myself and what I am doing and what the players are doing too. I hope that on May 31 (the final day of the season) we are talking about something else.”

At the bottom, Osasuna won their relegation duel with Real Mallorca triumphing 1-0 courtesy of a third minute goal from Walter Pandiani.

It is nip and tuck at the wrong end of the table with the bottom three of Osasuna, Espanyol and Mallorca locked on 17 points.

Valencia host Almeria later on Sunday looking to bounce back from their midweek Kings Cup exit to Sevilla which ended their hopes of retaining the trophy.

Valencia lie fourth, four points behind Sevilla who travel to Sporting Gijon late on Sunday.

Results:

Atletico Madrid 1 Valladolid 2

Real Betis 2 Getafe 2

Deportivo La Coruna 3 Villarreal 0

Espanyol 1 Recreativo Huelva 1

Osasuna 1 Real Mallorca 0

Racing Santander 1 Barcelona 2

Valencia 3 Almeria 2

Sporting Gijon 1 Sevilla 0

– AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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Football: Barcelona Recover To Beat Racing Santander, Move Clear Of Real Madrid

Posted on: February 2, 2009

MADRID: Supersub Lionel Messi scored twice as nine-man Barcelona, with their 5,000th Spanish league goal, came from behind to beat Racing Santander 2-1 and move 12 points clear of Real Madrid on Sunday.

A Nikola Zigic penalty had put Racing in front on 56 minutes before Messi changed the game, equalising just five minutes after coming on before scoring an 81st minute winner with his weaker right foot.

Messi’s personal goals tally for the season is now 16 while Barcelona, unbeaten in 20 games, recorded a ninth straight league win.

“You always know that Messi is capable of creating a goal and fortunately for us he created two,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “We had dominated but without creating much going forward against a well-organised Racing side.”

Barcelona had been in cup action during midweek – defeating Espanyol to reach the semi-finals – and looked off the pace in the first half.

Guardiola had opted to give Messi a rest on the substitutes bench with Andres Iniesta taking his place.

Racing had the first opening after 11 minutes with Jonathan Pereira’s shot hitting the post.

In the 56th minute, Racing won a penalty when Rafael Marquez committed a silly foul on Perreira and Zigic coolly converted the spot-kick.

Guardiola responded by throwing on Messi for Sergi Busquets on the hour mark and it quickly paid dividends.

Five minutes after coming on Messi equalised from close range after Xavi’s header had come off the crossbar.

Messi then struck again controlling on his chest before firing in a right-footed shot for Barcelona’s 5,000th league goal.

“He (Messi) had two half chances and scored both of them,” Racing coach Juan Ramon Muniz said.

Barcelona finished the match with nine men after Marquez and Gerard Pique were sent off late on for cycnical fouls.

Real had defeated Numancia 2-0 on Saturday for a sixth successive league victory and must again be frustrated that Barca collected maximum points.

The game saw history made as Real captain Raul scored his 307th goal for the club to equal Alfredo di Stefano’s all-time goalscoring record.

“Raul could certainly get 400 or 450 goals as he is still young,” di Stefano told daily Marca. “He is only 31 and could play until he is 37 or 38.”

Elsewhere, Villarreal continue to stutter falling to a 3-0 loss against Deportivo La Coruna.

Atletico Madrid’s miserable year also continued as they fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Valladolid on Sunday. Atletico have yet to win in 2009 and were jeered off the pitch at the Vicente Calderon.

“Am I worried about my job? I have a contract that I signed in front of two others and they haven’t told me that it will end before the set date,” explained Atletico coach Javier Aguirre.

“I have faith in myself and what I am doing and what the players are doing too. I hope that on May 31 (the final day of the season) we are talking about something else.”

At the bottom, Osasuna won their relegation duel with Real Mallorca triumphing 1-0 courtesy of a third minute goal from Walter Pandiani.

It is nip and tuck at the wrong end of the table with the bottom three of Osasuna, Espanyol and Mallorca locked on 17 points.

Valencia host Almeria later on Sunday looking to bounce back from their midweek Kings Cup exit to Sevilla which ended their hopes of retaining the trophy.

Valencia lie fourth, four points behind Sevilla who travel to Sporting Gijon late on Sunday.

Results:

Atletico Madrid 1 Valladolid 2

Real Betis 2 Getafe 2

Deportivo La Coruna 3 Villarreal 0

Espanyol 1 Recreativo Huelva 1

Osasuna 1 Real Mallorca 0

Racing Santander 1 Barcelona 2

Valencia 3 Almeria 2

Sporting Gijon 1 Sevilla 0

– AFP/de

Channel News Asia

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