Result: Real Zaragoza 1-4 Barcelona

Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi
© PA Photos
Barcelona move to within three points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-1 win at Real Zaragoza.

Barcelona have moved to within three points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-1 win at Real Zaragoza.

The hosts could have taken the lead after 24 minutes when Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes brought down Angel Lafita for a penalty. However, Valdes was able to get down to low to save Carlos Aranda's spot kick and keep the scores level.

Zaragoza made the breakthrough six minutes later when Aranda inventively headed in the rebound after Valdes had saved the striker's initial shot with his legs.

The visitors pulled themselves level on 36 minutes thanks to Carles Puyol's finish after goalkeeper Roberto Gago had flapped from a corner.

Barca took the lead soon after as Lionel Messi lashed the ball home after a quick counter-attack.

Zaragoza were reduced to 10 men before the break when Abraham Minero picked up his second yellow card for a trip on Alexis Sanchez.

Despite being kept at bay for large spells of the second half, Barcelona stretched their lead with five minutes to play as Messi converted from the spot following Javier Paredes's foul on Sanchez.

Pep Guardiola's side sealed the win in the second minute of injury time when Messi played in Pedro with a chipped pass to allow the midfielder to fire in.

Aitor Karanka
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona362745104297585
2Atletico MadridAtletico36274560164485
3Real Madrid362664105327384
4Villarreal351710842311161
5Celta Vigo35169104955-657
6Athletic Bilbao351671253431055
7Sevilla351410114942752
8Valencia351111134442244
9Las PalmasLas Palmas36127174449-543
10Malaga351012133132-142
11EibarEibar36119164656-1042
12Real Sociedad36119164247-542
13Real Betis361011153150-1941
14Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo35718104357-1439
15Espanyol35107183567-3237
16Granada3699184265-2336
17Rayo Vallecano36811174870-2235
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon3698193761-2435
19Getafe3588193364-3132
20Levante3578203363-3029