First Division - Day 27

Recreativo Huelva 0 - Barcelona 4

Recreativo: López Vallejo; Merino, Mario, Beto, Dani Bautista; Juanma (Cheli 73'), Jesús Vázquez, Barber (César Arzo 70'), Aitor; Uche, Sinama-Pongolle (Rosu 46'). 4-4-2.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Zambrotta, Puyol, Thuram, Sylvinho (Edmilson 85'); Xavi, Iniesta, Deco (Gio Van Bronckhorst 67'); Messi, Eto'o, Ronaldinho (Gudjohnsen 80'). 4-3-3.

Team changes: Recreativo: Dani Bautista, Sinama-Pongolle for Poli, Rosu / Barça: Zambrotta, Sylvinho for Oleguer, Márquez.

0-1. 03. Eto'o. Picked up Deco pass and bent long shot wide of López Vallejo.
0-2. 40. Zambrotta. Finished off team passing move with chip over keeper.
0-3. 43. Eto'o. First time shot from wide angle after Sylvinho crossed to far post.
0-4. 87. Messi. Won ball off Vázquez and ran square to shoot back past keeper.

Barcelona opened up a three point gap at the top of the table pending Sunday's games after beating Recreativo 0-4 on Saturday evening. Frank Rijkaard shelved his 3-4-3 formation and lined up with two full backs, and within three minutes his side were ahead, Eto'o picking up a short pass from Deco and curling a shot past López Vallejo from over 30 metres out.

Recre have been having the best season in their long history though, and they could have equalised when Barber scuffed his shot when in a good shooting position, and then when Jesús Vázquez fired a long effort against the foot of the post. But by half time the visitors were three up, Zambrotta finishing off a 17-pass move involving virtually all of the players, and Eto'o getting on the end of Sylvinho's cross to drive a first time shot wide of López Vallejo from the tightest of angles.

Recre had a few chances in the second half as Barça relaxed, and Víctor Valdés was called upon to make several saves, in particular from Juanma, Uche and Cheli. But with the game coming to an end Messi rounded things of, winning the ball off Vázquez and running across the area past three players before firing a shot back across the keeper. It was a first league away win for four months for the Blaugrana, but with Eto'o and Messi now back in full flow they are once again being touted as favourites for a third title in a row.