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Rediff.com  » Sports » Barca beat Celta for 13th successive win

Barca beat Celta for 13th successive win

December 21, 2005 11:29 IST

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o and newly-crowned World Player of the Year Ronaldinho inspired Barcelona to their 13th consecutive victory in all competitions on Tuesday after a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo in the Primera Liga.

Eto'o scored both goals, in the 38th and 57th minutes, to take his tally for the season to 17, with Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho involved in the build up to both.

Celta made Barca work hard for the victory in a first half where they could easily have taken the lead, but it was Barca who finished the stronger with visiting keeper Esteban preventing the score from creeping higher.

Barca moved up to 40 points after 17 games, extending their lead at the top of the table to five points over second-placed Osasuna, who play Atletico Madrid at home on Thursday.

The rest of this round's matches are played on Wednesday including third-placed Real Madrid's home tie with Racing Santander.

The Primera Liga enters its winter break after this round of games.

Barcelona laid siege to Celta's goal early on with Ronaldinho showing few signs of suffering from being delayed in Switzerland overnight, after Monday's Player of the Year award ceremony.

CRAFTY OPENER

As the home side piled forward in search of goals they left themselves open to counter-attacks, and in the 32nd-minute Celta's Brazilian striker Fernando Baiano pulled wide in the area and crashed a shot against Victor Valdes's far post.

Two minutes later another Barca attack floundered and Uruguayan midfielder Fabian Canobbio sent Baiano racing through to be denied in a one-on-one by Valdes.

Barca took the lead soon after with a craftily worked opener when Ronaldinho took a quick free kick on the edge of the area, which he had won, while Celta's players disputed the decision.

His pass put Eto'o clear in the area and from a tight angle he lifted the ball over the advancing Esteban into the far corner.

Andres Iniesta, who has been drafted into midfield to cover for the injured Xavi, proved he is more than just a stand in in the build up for the second goal.

Ronaldinho fed Iniesta on the edge of the area, surrounded by four blue shirts. The 21-year-old spun round and threaded a pass to the lurking Eto'o, who snapped a shot high into the corner.

Second-half substitute Ludovic Giuly almost added a third when he cut in off the right flank, played a one-two with Eto'o in the area, only to be denied by Esteban.

The Celta keeper saved from Giuly again in the final minute.
Mark Elkington
Source:
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