First Division - Day 34

Real Madrid 2 - Barcelona 6

Madrid: Casillas; Sergio Ramos (Van der Vaart 72'), Metzelder, Cannavaro, Heinze; Robben (Javi García 79'), Lass, Gago, Marcelo (Huntelaar 59'); Higuaín, Raúl. 4-4-2.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Daniel Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal; Xavi, Touré Yaya (Busquets 85'), Iniesta (Bojan 85'); Messi, Eto'o, Henry (Keita 61'). 4-3-3.

Team changes: Madrid: Heinze, Robben for Miguel Torres, Guti / Barcelona: Touré Yaya, Henry for Busquets, Keita.

1-0. 14. Higuaín. Steered header back inside near post from Sergio Ramos cross.
1-1. 18. Henry. Ran on to Messi through ball and guided angled shot past Casillas.
1-2. 20. Puyol. Came from behind to head Xavi's wide free kick past keeper.
1-3. 35. Messi. Ran on to poke shot past Casillas after Xavi won ball off Lass.
2-3. 56. Ramos. Got ahead of defence to head long Robben free kick past Valdés.
2-4. 58. Henry. Played Xavi's long pass past Casillas from outside of area.
2-5. 75. Messi. Picked up Xavi return pass and fired shot inside near post.
2-6. 83. Piqué. Turned ball back in to net after Casillas blocked first shot.

Yellow cards: Abidal 22', Sergio Ramos 24', Puyol 38', Marcelo 44', Van der Vaart 73', Javi García 84'.

Barcelona virtually made sure of the league title with an incredible 2-6 victory over Real Madrid on Saturday evening. With only four points between the two sides at the start of the match everything hung in the balance, and when Higuaín opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark with a well placed header from Robben's cross it looked like Madrid were closing in on their rivals.

However two goals in as many minutes by Henry and Puyol turned the scoreline around, the first coming after Messi put the ex Arsenal striker through, and the second following a Xavi free kick which Cannavaro gave away unnecessarily on Henry, Puyol throwing himself forward to head in his first goal of the season.

Madrid almost equalised when Higuaín's cross hit Dani Alves, Valdés lucky to find the ball in his arms. But after that Guardiola's side dominated, Casillas having to save from Eto'o and two or three times from Messi. And with ten minutes to go to the break Xavi won the ball off Lass and played it through for Messi to poke a shot wide of the keeper.

Casillas had to save again from Alves and Messi either side of half time, but some slack marking allowed Sergio Ramos to head one back from Robben's long free kick. But just two minutes later Henry restored the two goal cushion, just getting to Xavi's pass ahead of Casillas to roll the ball in to the net from outside of the area.

Messi missed the easiest of chances minutes later, and Iniesta had a penalty appeal turned down when tackled by Lass. But with a quarter of an hour to go Messi picked up a return pass to sell Casillas with a quick feint and score his side's fifth.

Soon afterwards Piqué rounded off his own impressive performance to complete the "set", turning the ball past Casillas after the keeper had blocked his first effort from Eto'o's cross. It was Barcelona's 100th goal of the season in the league, and was the first time that either of the two sides had scored six away from home in the entire history of the "derbies".

The result signalled the first defeat in the league since Juande Ramos's debut in the Nou Camp nineteen games ago, during which time Madrid have only dropped two points. However the Catalans are now seven points clear with four games to go, and the parties in the Condal city went on long in to the night.