First Division - Day 9

Barcelona 5 - Real Sociedad 0

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Oleguer, Puyol, Edmilson, Sylvinho; Iniesta, Xavi (Motta 62'), Van Bommel; Giuly, Eto'o (Larsson 79'), Ronaldinho (Ezquerro 72'). 4-3-3.
Real Sociedad: Riesgo; López Rekarte, Labaka, Jauregi, Garrido; Xabi Prieto (Gabilondo 27'), Novo (Larrea 67'), Mikel Alonso (Barkero 17'), Aranburu; Nihat, Uranga. 4-4-2.

Team changes: Barça: Iniesta for Márquez / Real: Uranga for Kovacevic.

1-0. 18. Van Bommel. Connected with Ronaldinho pass to volley past Riesgo.
2-0. 36. Ronaldinho. Took return pass from Van Bommel and struck shot into net.
3-0. 60. Ronaldinho. Free kick which bent round wall and bounced past keeper.
4-0. 75. Puyol. Ran in from behind to head Sylvinho corner into roof of net.
5-0. 85. Larsson. Headed in on far post after Sylvinho cross bounced across.

Barcelona moved up to second in the table with a comfortable 5-0 win over Real Sociedad, who were in sixth position at the start of the day. The changes to the calendar meant that this was the Catalans' third home game in a week, and with wins over Osasuna and Málaga in the bag they were full of confidence. Eto'o shot wide when put through early on, but with just over a quarter of an hour gone Van Bommel got on the end of Ronaldinho's chipped cross to volley past Riesgo for the opening goal.

The Basque side were already missing striker Kovacevic, and they lost Mikel Alonso and Xabi Prieto to injuries with less than half an hour on the clock. Barça kept up the pressure and Giuly hit the side netting and Iniesta had a long shot tipped over the top by the keeper before Real had their first sight at goal, Nihat's low shot being well saved by Víctor Valdés. And soon afterwards the locals were two up after Ronaldinho took a return pass from Van Bommel to shoot wide of the keeper.

The second half followed the pattern of the first, Iniesta having a shot saved and Giuly and Eto'o both missing the target before Ronaldinho caught Riesgo off guard with a free kick which bounced past the young keeper. The visitors were left with ten men when Uranga picked up a second booking, and with one eye on the upcoming Champions League match Rijkaard rested Xavi, Ronaldinho and then Eto'o. But still the goals came, Puyol heading his first in almost four years from a corner before substitute Larsson got on the end of Sylvinho's cross to head the fifth past a desolate Riesgo.