MADRID (Sporting Alert) – FC Barcelona extended it lead over arch rivals Real Madrid in Spanish La Liga standings, following a 3-1 victory on the road over Malaga on Sunday.
Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Thiago were the goalscorers for Barcelona on Sunday in the victory, with Diego Buonanotte grabbing an 89th minute strike for Malaga in the defeat.
The leaders were without striker David Villa, who was ruled out of the contest because of a hamstring injury he picked up in training on Saturday.
With the three points, Barcelona moved to 55pts in the Spanish La Liga standings, 11 more than second place Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid, which failed win at last place Osasuna on Saturday are even further behind on 37pts.
Manchester City and Chelsea English Premier League transfer target Radamel Falcao scored from the penalty spot in the 38th in Atletico’s 2-0 home win over Zaragoza.
Tiago had opened the scoring for the hosts in the 31st minute.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Arsenal on loan striker Joel Campbell was on the scoresheet in Betis 2-0 result over Levante, while Real Sociedad and Deportivo finished 1-1 after 90 minutes of action.
In Spanish La Liga scores on Saturday, defending champions Real Madrid, playing with Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, were held 0-0 by Osasuna, as Brazilian playmaker Kaka received a red card in the second half.
“”It isn’t easy to create chances here because of the opposition’s style of play. Without creating much and without having many chances we created enough to score,” head coach Jose Mourinho said on www.realmadrid.com.
Commenting on the players out, he said: “I never talk about the missing players.
“We have had players injured for a month or two and I’ve never talked about them. We also have players suspended and I have not used that as an excuse.”
Mourinho was also not prepared to talk about the huge gap between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“The explanation begins on the first match day and since then things have happened that I do not want to talk about,” he said.
“After that, when the gap is big, one team plays without pressure and the other one feels like that they can’t close the gap and there are motivational issues.”
Roberto Soldado netted two second half goals for Valencia to move to 30 points and seventh place in the standings, while Patrick Ebert also netted a brace in Valladolid comfortable 3-1 win at home against Mallorca.
Espanyol edged Celta 1-0 to move level with their opponents on 18pts.