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
1Real Madrid17124146163040
2Sevilla18123338221639
3Barcelona18115247173038
4Atletico MadridAtletico18104432141834
5Real Sociedad1810263025532
6Villarreal1887326121431
7Athletic Bilbao188462219328
8Celta Vigo188372932-327
9EibarEibar187562524126
10Las PalmasLas Palmas186662729-224
11Espanyol185852225-323
12AlavesAlaves185761518-322
13Malaga185672631-521
14Real Betis186392030-1021
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo184682328-518
16Leganes184591329-1617
17Valencia174492633-716
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon1833121937-1812
19Granada1817101539-2410
20Osasuna1816111738-219
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