First Division - Day 3

Sporting Gijón 1 - Barcelona 6

Sporting: Sergio Sánchez; Sastre, Gerard, Jorge, Raúl Cámara; Matabuena (Michel 46'), Andreu; Maldonado (Kike Mateo 62'), Carmelo, Diego Castro; Bilic (Barral 59'). 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Daniel Alves, Márquez, Puyol, Abidal; Sergio Busquets (Martín Cáceres 81'), Xavi, Keita (Gudjohnsen 70'); Messi, Etoo (Bojan 67'), Iniesta. 4-3-3.

Team changes: Sporting: Gerard, Raúl Cámara, Andreu for Colin, Canella, Michel / Barcelona: Márquez, Messi, Iniesta for Piqué, Pedro, Hleb.

0-1. 27. Xavi. Steered header inside post near to goal from Iniesta's cross.
0-2. 32. Eto'o. Helped ball over line after Puyol headed on Xavi's corner.
0-3. 49. Jorge (own goal). Headed Xavi corner past own keeper trying to clear.
1-3. 50. Maldonado. Ran on to score after Bilic pulled down long pass.
1-4. 70. Iniesta. Turned ball past keeper after picking up Messi's reverse pass.
1-5. 85. Messi. Swept ball past Sánchez after Iniesta cross deflected to him.
1-6. 88. Messi. Guided header wide of keeper from Xavi's chipped cross.

Yellow cards: Cámara 06', Carmelo 40' / red cards: Gerard 56'.

Barcelona started the last match of the weekend at Sporting Gijón down in the relegation zone after several of the teams below them picked up positive results. But two hours later they were in the top half of the table after thrashing the Asturians 1-6.

After a couple of lacklustre performances in their opening games, Pep Guardialoa's side wanted to show they were still title contenders. And after Iniesta and Messi went close a couple of times each, Xavi headed them in to the lead from Iniesta's cross. And five minutes later Eto'o made it two, getting the final touch as the ball was entering the net after Puyol headed Xavi's corner goalwards.

Just four minutes after the interval Jorge headed another Xavi corner in to his own net to make it three, but this time Sporting replied almost immediately, Maldonado picking up the ball after Bilic tried to control a long pass and running on to beat Valdés. Soon afterwards though keeper Sergio Sánchez cleared a ball straight to Messi, and Gerard was shown a straight red card for hacking down the Argentinian striker as he advanced on goal .

That made things even easier for the visitors, and Messi set up Iniesta for a fourth with a clever reverse pass, and then scored two more himself before the final whistle to complete the "set". It was another blow for Sporting, and they ended the weekend firmly anchored to the foot of the table.