Barcelona: Pinto; Dani Alves, Puyol,
Mascherano, Adriano; Thiago (Iniesta 66'), Alex Song, Fàbregas (Busquets
74'); Alexis, David Villa (Messi 61'), Tello. 4-3-3.
Deportivo: Aranzubia; Manuel Pablo, Aythami, Pablo Insúa, Silvio; Paulo Assuncao (Juan Domínguez 76'), Abel Aguilar; Bruno Gama, Valerón (Camuñas 61'), Pizzi; Nelson Oliveira (Salomao 70'). 4-2-3-1.
1-0. 38. Alexis. Steered header down past Aranzubia from Dani Alves cross.
2-0. 88. Messi. Ran on to return pass from Alexis and lifted shot over keeper.
Yellow cards: Puyol 69', Abel Aguilar 72', Song 84'.
A Barcelona side packed with reserve players had more problems than expected before running out 2-0 winners against bottom club Deportivo. With one eye on Tuesday night's Champions League tie against AC Milan, Jordi Roura left Messi, Iniesta and other first choice players on the bench. But even so a competitive line-up dominated the first half, Aranzubia having to save from Dani Alves, Tello and David Villa, and Fàbregas putting a good chance wide. With seven to go to the break Alexis got free of his marker to steer in a header which the visiting keeper got to after it had crossed the line, and Villa came close to a second when he shot just wide shortly before the break. After the restart Valerón was lucky to get away with a hand ball inside the area, but with Depor growing in confidence Roura was forced to bring on Messi, Iniesta and then Busquets. Iniesta tested Aranzubia again with a long shot, Messi turning in the rebound only to be pulled up for offside, and with two minutes to go Messi finally wrapped things up after running on to an Alexis return pass to lift a shot over the keeper, extending his scoring record to seventeen consecutive league games. A first clean sheet in fourteen matches as well, by chance with Pinto in goal replacing the suspended Valdés, but then Depor didn't manage a shot on target all night. The same result on Tuesday evening will level the tie, although Milan will certainly not be so forgiving!