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Barcelona puts extra pressure on Real Madrid
Front-runner Barcelona beat Getafe 2-1 to put extra pressure on Real Madrid ahead of its Spanish capital derby at Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league on Saturday
Published in Ahram Online on 19 - 03 - 2011

Barcelona provisionally moved eight points clear of its fierce rival as it broke a club record that had stood since the 1973-74 season with its 27th league game without a loss.
Dani Alves scored Barcelona's first goal with a blast from outside the area in the 17th minute, and Bojan Krkic doubled the lead in the 50th.
Manuel del Moral pulled one back for Getafe in the 88th.
A video supporting Barcelona defender Eric Abidal, who underwent surgery for a liver tumor on Thursday, was played and his teammates wore shirts that read “We love you Abi” before the game.
Gabi Milito got a rare nod to accompany Gerard Pique in the center of the defense with Carles Puyol still recovering from a leg injury, and Bojan entered the starting 11 for Pedro Rodriguez, who remained on the bench after being a doubt all week.
Lionel Messi came close to opening the scoring in the eighth when he controlled a pass from Xavi Hernandez with his chest, but his acrobatic kick with his back to the goal was blocked by Getafe goalkeeper Jordi Codina.
Getafe did not sit back to defend at Camp Nou, and in the 16th Angel Arizmendi spun in the area before firing wide.
Alves' goal was pure power as the Brazil right back charged forward to rocket a ball cleared by the Zaragoza defense into the right corner of Codina's goal.
Four minutes later the hosts had a pair of chances to double the lead when Andres Iniesta robbed Dani Parejo and set up Messi, who dribbled past Codina only to have his shot cleared off the line by a diving defender. The ball fell to David Villa, but his close-range shot sailed high.
Villa soon had another clear opportunity after Messi recovered the ball near the area, but his strike was blocked by Getafe defender Victor Sanchez.
Although Getafe lost ball after ball in its own half to Barcelona's pressure, the Madrid side remained dangerous when it managed to cross midfield and a nice team buildup ended with Barcelona goalie Victor Valdes saving Francisco Casquero's shot in the 33rd.
Xavi fired wide in the 36th, and Villa grazed the right post in the 44th as Barcelona pressed to decide the game before halftime.
But it fell to Bojan after the restart to seal the win when his shot from the right side took a deflection off Getafe center back Daniel Diaz, finding Codina out of position. It was the second goal in as many games for the 20-year-old striker, appearing in his 100th game for the Catalan club.
Villa continued to lack precision in the final touch as his pass missed Messi unmarked in the area, and he shot into Codina from close range in the 58th.
Del Moral missed with a header off a corner in the 70th, and then halved Getafe's deficit late when he volleyed home a pass from Sanchez, but Barcelona held on for the win.
Xavi received his fifth yellow card and will miss the match at Villarreal.
Elsewhere, Mallorca beat a 10-man Zaragoza 1-0 on a second-half goal by Jonathan De Guzman.
Zaragoza went a man down when goalkeeper Toni Doblas was sent off for handling outside the area, and Canadian midfielder De Guzman curled the resulting free kick by replacement goalie Leo Franco to give Mallorca its 67th-minute winner.
Substitute Braulio Nobrega hit the crossbar in injury time in Zaragoza's best chance to pull even.
Mallorca's first win in three weeks lifted it to within one point of seventh-place Sevilla.
Javier Aguirre's Zaragoza remained four points above the drop zone.
Third-place Valencia hosts Sevilla and fourth-place Villarreal visits Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. Also, it's: Sporting Gijon vs. Almeria, Hercules vs. Osasuna, Racing Santander vs. Real Sociedad, Malaga vs. Espanyol, and Deportivo La Coruna vs. Levante.


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