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Rediff.com  » Sports » Keita fires Barca to 1-0 win over Zaragoza

Keita fires Barca to 1-0 win over Zaragoza

March 06, 2011 11:44 IST

Seydou Keita made the most of a rare place in the starting lineup to give Barcelona a 1-0 win at home to Real Zaragoza on Saturday that put the champions 10 points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

The Mali midfielder, making only his 10th league start for Pep Guardiola's side this season, swept home a defelected Lionel Messi cross in the 43rd minute at the Nou Camp to lift Barca to 74 points from 27 matches.

Seydou Keita Zaragoza goalkeeper Toni Doblas made a string of brilliant saves to prevent a bigger margin of victory for Barca, who rested key players including David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets with an eye on Tuesday's Champions League last-16, second leg at home to Arsenal.

Real can trim the gap back to seven with a win at Racing Santander on Sunday, although they will have to do so without joint La Liga top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who injured a leg muscle in Thursday's 7-0 drubbing of Malaga.

Valencia piled the pressure on Villarreal, their rivals for third spot, when Pablo Hernandez struck twice in a 2-1 comeback win at Real Mallorca earlier on Saturday.

Valencia have 54 points, four ahead of Villarreal who visit eighth-placed Atletico Madrid in the late kickoff. 

Mallorca, coached by former Denmark international Michael Laudrup, are 10th on 34, while Zaragoza remained in 15th on 27 points just two points above the drop zone.

Photograph: Getty Images

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