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.

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Tables
TeamPGDPTS
1Real Madrid154239
2Barcelona163438
3Atletico Madrid161735
4Valencia161631
5Villarreal161330
6Sevilla15830
7Malaga16530
8Celta Vigo16-120
9Eibar16-320
10Espanyol16-420
11Athletic Bilbao16-619
12Getafe16-817
13Rayo Vallecano16-1417
14Real Sociedad16-515
15Levante16-1815
16Almeria16-1113
17Deportivo La Coruna16-1413
18Granada16-1613
19Cordoba16-1611
20Elche16-1910