First Division - Day 20

Barcelona 4 - Numancia 1

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Daniel Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal; Xavi (Hleb 81'), Touré Yaya Iniesta (Bojan 79'); Messi, Eto'o, Henry (Sergio Busquets 73'). 4-3-3.
Numancia: Juan Pablo; Juanra, Sergio Ortega, Palacios, Boris, Bellvis; Del Pino, Dimas, Nagore (Gorka Brit 76'), Barkero (Quero 79'); Goiria (Aranda 62'). 5-4-1.

Team changes: Barcelona: Iniesta for Keita / Numancia: Palacios, Bellvis for Domingo Cisma, Gorka Brit.

1-0. 49. Messi. Got ahead of defence to touch Alves headed pass on past keeper.
2-0. 53. Eto'o. Controlled Iniesta pass and steered shot wide of Juan Pablo.
2-1. 61. Barkero. Curled free kick over defensive wall in to top corner of net.
3-1. 71. Henry. Picked up Messi square pass and beat keeper with shot on turn.
4-1. 76. Messi. Took pass from Eto'o and ran on to beat keeper at second attempt.

Yellow cards: Dimas 23', Palacios 58', 80', Piqué 65', Del Pino 81', Ortega 90' / red cards: Palacios 80'.

Barcelona got their revenge only the only team to beat them in the league this season, a 4-1 victory over Numancia taking them fifteen points clear of the pack pending Sunday's games.

It took them some time though to break down a five man defence on a windy night in the Nou Camp, and there was a near surprise early on when Goiria headed past Valdés only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul. After that though it was one way traffic, Xavi and Piqué going close and Juan Pablo doing well to save a lob from Iniesta.

The goals started to flow after the break, with Messi opening the floodgates with a deft touch from an Alves headed pass. Eto'o shrugged off his marker to score a second soon afterwards, and Barça were on their way. Barkero did get one back with a well struck free kick, but Henry restored the two goal cushion and Messi got his second of the night five minutes later.

It could have been more after that as the sending off of Palacios left the visitors with ten men, Messi having an effort saved and then hitting the bar, and Eto'o firing another chance wide. But it was yet another big win, and Guardiola's side have started the second half of the season as they ended the first.