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
1AlavesAlaves00000000
2Athletic Bilbao00000000
3Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
4Barcelona00000000
5Celta Vigo00000000
6Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
7EibarEibar00000000
8Espanyol00000000
9Granada00000000
10Las PalmasLas Palmas00000000
11Leganes00000000
12Malaga00000000
13Osasuna00000000
14Real Betis00000000
15Real Madrid00000000
16Real Sociedad00000000
17Sevilla00000000
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000