First Division - Day 35

Valencia 0 - Barcelona 2

Valencia: Palop; Caneira (Angulo 53'), Ayala, Marchena, Carboni; Albelda, Fabio Aurelio; Sissoko, Aimar (Mista 75'), Vicente; Di Vaio (Rufete 68'). 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Belletti (Motta 68'), Oleguer, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst; Xavi, Márquez, Deco; Giuly (Iniesta 79'), Eto'o, Ronaldinho. 4-3-3.

Team changes: Valencia: Sissoko, Vicente, Di Vaio for Baraja, Angulo, Mista / Barcelona: Xavi for Iniesta.

1-0. 28. Ronaldinho. Controlled Belletti cross and fired shot into top corner of net.
2-0. 30. Eto'o. Ran on to Ronaldinho through ball to round Marchena and score.

Barcelona are just one win away from their first league title in six years after defeating last year's champions Valencia 0-2 in their Mestalla stadium on Sunday evening. Frank Rijkaard's side were pegged back early on by their hosts who were in need of a victory to stay in the European spots, Di Vaio going close on a couple of occasions and Fabio Aurelio firing a free kick just wide of the upright. But with just under half an hour on the clock Ronaldinho picked up Belletti's cross and caught Palop off his guard with an unstoppable shot from outside of the area, the ball flying into the top corner of the net with surprising speed.

Before Valencia had time to react the Catalans had made it two, Ronaldinho sending Eto'o away for him to dummy past Marchena and slot the ball wide of the keeper. And it could have been more by the break had Palop not saved from a couple of efforts from Eto'o and another from Ronaldinho.

The pressure from the visitors carried on after the restart, Ronaldinho striking a spectacular first time volley wide of the post and Palop saving again from Giuly. Ayala headed wide at the other end as the hosts tried to react, but soon afterwards Marchena was sent off for a hard tackle on Deco and it was game over. Eto'o was still keen to go forward though with the Pichichi prize foremost in his thoughts, but he failed to convert a couple of easy chances in the closing minutes. The game was already in the bag though and the six point lead over Real Madrid had been restored, and if Barça can win at struggling Levante next Saturday they will already be assured of the crown.