First Division - Day 22

Barcelona 5 - Albacete 0

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Oscar López, Márquez, Oleguer, Van Bronckhorst; Xavi, Davids (Luis Enrique 78'), Cocu (Motta 72'); Quaresma, Saviola (Sergio García 75'), Luis García. 4-3-3.
Albacete: Almunia; Oscar Montiel, Pablo, Buades, Peña; Iván Díaz (Mikel 72'), Álvaro Rubio (David Sánchez 10'),Viaud, Delporte; Pacheco (Fabiano 65'), Aranda. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Barça: Oscar López, Quaresma, Saviola for Reiziger, Ronaldinho, Kluivert / Albacete: Oscar Montiel, Álvaro Rubio for Pedro, Parri.

1-0. 16. Xavi. Hit shot from outside area which took a deflection off Oscar Montiel.
2-0. 50. Saviola. Following up after first header blocked by Almunia.
3-0. 53. Quaresma. Ran past two defenders and crashed low shot past keeper.
4-0. 55. Davids. Collected Luis García cross on far post and drove shot into net.
5-0. 91. Luis Enrique. Ran on to Sergio García through ball to shoot past keeper.

Barcelona followed in Valencia's footsteps from the day before, getting their cup defeat out of their system by hammering Albacete 5-0. Missing Ronaldinho, Puyol and Kluivert, Rijkaard was forced to put out a makeshift side for a match which started with his own crowd against him. But Xavi scored with a shot which deflected in off Oscar Montiel with a quarter of an hour on the clock, and although Aranda and Pacheco could have levelled the scores, the Blaugrana went in at the break in front.

The Catalans wrapped up the match though in the first ten minutes of the second half, with three more goals against an ineffective defence. Saviola started things off when he got ahead of the defence to head Luis García's cross goalwards, and although Almunia blocked his first effort, the Argentine striker recovered quickly to bundle the ball into the net on the rebound. Quaresma added a third soon afterwards with an individualist goal, and Davids joined in on the act two minutes later, collecting Luis García's long cross before thumping the ball past Almunia.

Albacete were left with ten men a quarter of an hour from the end when Delporte picked up a second booking , and with the game over Rijkaard gave a run out to Motta and Luis Enrique, both returning from injury, and to young striker Sergio García. And García it was who put Luis Enrique through to score his side's fifth goal, taking them up to fifth spot in the table, only two points now behind Atlético Madrid.