January 8, 2011
Barca cruises to 12th straight La Liga win
By Sports Network
Madrid, Spain – Lionel Messi scored his 18th goal in La Liga, leading Barcelona to its 12th consecutive league victory, 4-0 over Deportivo on Saturday at the Riazor.
David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Pedro also scored for Barcelona, which opened a five-point lead on Real Madrid atop the standings. Real hosts Villarreal on Sunday.
Deportivo had its four-game unbeaten streak in all competitions snapped and is 12th in La Liga after suffering its 10th league loss of the season.
Messi helped put Barca in front early, drawing two defenders before slipping a pass into the box to Villa. Villa ran onto the pass and converted from a tight angle on the right for his 12th goal in league play.
Messi followed with his own goal seven minutes after half, bending a free kick from 25 yards around the wall and into the upper-left corner. His 18th goal in La Liga trails only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 19.
Iniesta matched Messi's brilliant goal in the 80th, driving across the top of the area before sending a one-hoper into the bottom-left corner.
Messi played a role in the final goal as well, as he drove in and drew three defenders this time, allowing Pedro to finish from the right side of the area, just one minute after Iniesta's goal to seal Barca's easy win.
Sevilla 3, Real Sociedad 2
San Sebastian, Spain - Frederic Kanoute scored a brace, the second the match- winner in the 65th, as Sevilla edged Real Sociedad 3-2 at the Estadio Anoeta.
Luis Fabiano also scored for Sevilla, which trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in the opening half of the match. Diego Rivas Gutierrez and Joseba Llorente, who is tied for third in the league in scoring with Villa with 12 goals, scored for Sociedad.
Kanoute scored his first in the 25th, two minutes after Gutierrez scored, and followed Fabiano's tying goal in the 63rd with his second in the 65th.
Sevilla is just eighth in the La Liga, but won for the fourth straight time in all competitions. Sociedad lost its fourth straight in La Liga and is 11th.
Malaga 1, Athletic Bilbao 1
Malaga, Spain - Javi Martinez scored three minutes into stoppage time to equal an 81st minute strike from Martin Demichelis, as Athletic Bilbao stole a point at the Estadio La Rosaleda with a 1-1 draw.
Demichelis, acquired on loan with a permanent deal likely this summer, scored in his debut when he headed home a corner kick in the 81st minute. Bilbao tied the match deep in stoppage time when Martinez answered with a headed goal.
Bilbao used the point to stay eighth, and Malaga is still 16th but four points above the relegation zone.