Hércules: Calatayud; David
Cortés, Momo Sarr, Rodríguez, Peña; Abel Aguilar, Fritzler
(Farinós 67'); Kiko Femenía (Cristian 62'), Valdez (Portillo
79'), Tote; Trézéguet. 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Dani Alves, Piqué, Abidal, Maxwell; Xavi (Keita 88'), Busquets, Iniesta (Afellay 90'); Pedro, Messi, David Villa (Nolito 88'). 4-3-3.
0-1. 43. Pedro. Picked up Xavi pass and fired shot inside Calatayud's near post.
0-2. 87. Messi. Cut across front of area and clipped shot back in off near post.
0-3. 89. Messi. Turned ball in from close up after Dani Alves crossed from right.
Yellow cards: Abel Aguilar 32', Peña 44', Farinós 77', 84', Dani Alves 82' / red cards: Farinós 84'.
Barcelona kept up the pressure on Real Madrid with a 0-3 victory over Hércules on Saturday evening. The Alicante based side were the only team to beat the defending champions in the first half of the season, and Guardiola gave them the respect they deserved putting out his strongest line up despite being in the middle of a two leg cup semi-final. As usual Barça had most of the play, but they only went close with a couple of efforts from Messi and Pedro, and Trézéguet could have scored at the other end with a bit more luck. With two minutes to go to the break however Pedro picked up a pass from Xavi to open the scoring, and after the restart the forward got the ball in the net again only to have the strike ruled out for offside. The result was in doubt though until the last five minutes, when substitute Farinós was sent off for a second bookable offence. Two minutes later Messi cut across the area to curl a shot in off the post, and two minutes after that Messi was there again to turn in a Dani Alves cross to make sure of a fifteenth league win in a row, equalling a record set by Di Stéfano's Real Madrid some fifty years ago.