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After the League win, the Arsenal (1-0)

They deserved more, but Barça had to settle for a solitary Keita goal to overcome Zaragoza on a day that saw the presidential box filled with women. Guardiola’s side has an overnight lead of ten points on Real Madrid. And on Tuesday, it is Arsenal.

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06 March 2011 06:03 PM

by

Roger Bogunyà

Barcelona (FCB).- Keita certainly seems to enjoy playing against Zaragoza. Last season he got the only hat-trick of his career against them and tonight he crowned another excellent performance with the only goal of the game. It was also a day for women, with not a single male face in the Camp Nou presidential box, as a hommage to the International Women's Day. And what the female onlookers got to see was almost embarrassing domination from Barcelona, and it seemed incredible that all they got out of it was a single goal. After this win, the efforts go to defeat Arsenal in the Champions League.


Racing Santander entertain Real Madrid on Sunday, but for the time being FC Barcelona top the league with 74 points, ten more than the all-whites. And there are only 33 left to play for.

Doblas the saviour

Barça, with Valdés, Milito and Bojan all in the starting line-up, found it hard to get into the game. It took Abidal, Busquets, Iniesta and Villa twenty minutes to find a way through the ultra-defensive Zaragoza system and create the first real goalscoring opportunity. In fact, this game could have been played on just one half the pitch and it wouldn\u2019t have made any difference. Soon Bojan, Messi, Pedro and Xavi had all put Doblas to the test, and every time it was the Zaragoza keeper who came out smiling.

Keita rules

But the man of the first half was unquestionably Keita, who along with Mascherano was collecting balls left, right and centre as they calmly broke down counter attack after counter attack by Zaragoza and simply turned them into Barça attacking moves. Keita looked to have broken the deadlock with a finely converted header on the half hour, but the goal was incorrectly disallowed for offside. Justice was done ten minutes later when the African finally made it 1-0 following an excellent move by Messi, who supplied an assist that Keita coolly slotted home.

Warning from Zaragoza, Barça respond

Aguirre had no choice but to take a more offensive attitude in the second half. Zaragoza immediately produced a couple of decent chances for Bertolo and Sinama, but Valdés was ready for them. It was bit of a wake-up call for Barça in a frankly sleepy game, and Piqué responded by almost scoring from a header, and Bojan also came close shortly after.

Final possession

The stars of the second half were Alves and Pedro, who were simply outstanding down the wings. Zaragoza, meanwhile, opted to leave Uche and Sinama up front in search of long balls, but Aguirre\u2019s tactic didn\u2019t produce any results, for Barcelona were dominating the pressure so much by this point that it was impossible for the Aragonese outfit to get the ball anywhere near their strike partnership. And so it ended, with three more points added to FC Barcelona\u2019s impressive account.

 

THE DETAIL

The goal

1-0, Keita (min 42)

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  • Keita celebrates the goal he scored (by FC Barcelona)

  • Keita celebrates the goal he scored (by FC Barcelona)