|First Division - Day 23|
Zaragoza 1 - Barcelona 4
Rubén Falcón; Ponzio, Alvaro, Milito, Toledo; Movilla
(Soriano 80'), Zapater, Generelo (Javi Moreno 29'); Cani (Drulic 80'),
Galletti, Savio. 4-3-3.
Team changes: Zaragoza: Rubén Falcón, Generelo, Cani for Luis García, Oscar González, David Villa / Barcelona: No change.
Barcelona bounced back after their defeat last week to trounce Zaragoza 1-4 and move seven points clear at the top pending Real Madrid's game on Sunday. Frank Rijkaard's side were given a helping hand in the second minute when Toledo put through his own net trying to pass back to keeper Rubén Falcón, who was making his first start for the side.
The locals fans had waved 11,000 red cards at referee Carmona Méndez when he came out in protest at some bad decisions against them in recent games, and they were upset again when Galletti was belatedly given offside after he raced through and was brought down by Víctor Valdés in the area, especially as Carmona appeared to have given a penalty at first before consulting with his linesman.
They were even less happy though when Eto'o was allowed to run on to Ronaldinho's pass from a similar position later in the first half to set up Giuly for the second goal. But after that the visitors threatened to score a hat-full, Giuly hitting the post and Eto'o fired over the top with only the keeper to beat within two minutes of the French winger's goal.
With keeper Luis García an his two forwards Villa and Oscar both suspended, Víctor Muñoz had changed his formation, playing without a recognised striker. But just before Giuly's goal he decided to revert to his old line up, bringing on Javi Moreno to play up front. And the striker was always a danger, lurking as Valdés did well to hold on to Savio's shot and then unable to reach the ball before the defence after the keeper spilled a viciously curling effort from Ponzio.
Six minutes before the break though, Eto'o ran through to collect another lofted Ronaldinho pass, lob the ball over Rubén and walk the ball in to make it three. The Camerooni striker was clearly upset about the racist chants coming from some idiotic sections of the crowd, and celebrated the goal imitating a monkey in protest at their actions.
Zaragoza didn't give up though, Galletti hitting the post from a wide free kick and Carmona letting Valdés off a clear penalty for a push on Cani. Just a couple of minutes after the restart Movilla crashed a 30 yard shot against the woodwork with the keeper well beaten, and soon afterwards Galletti pulled one back with a shot from the edge of the area.
The game started to get niggly, with the linesman pulling up play at both ends for borderline offsides and hard tackles earning several yellow cards. Deco fired a first time volley just over the bar, and a few minutes later Márquez put the result beyond doubt, his header from Xavi's corner bouncing back off the far post and spinning over the line. After that it was all over, and Barcelona had recorded their first win in the Romareda stadium since 1997. The pressure is back on Real Madrid.