Five more goals (5-0)
FC Barcelona recorded their ninth consecutive victory as they eased past Real Sociedad on Sunday evening to go back to the top of the table thanks to two goals from Lionel Messi and one each from David Villa, Andrés Iniesta and Bojan Krkic.
Barcelona (FCB).- The Blaugrana are enjoying their best moment of the campaign and scored five in a game for the sixth time this term, including the 0-8 win at Almería, while Víctor Valdés beat his own personal best of minutes without conceding. Real Sociedad have had a successful return to the top flight after four seasons in the second tier, but they were unable to cope with the irresistible Catalan outfit, who completed over 900 passes, the most since Opta record began. Messi also continued to add to his remarkable statistics by scoring his 42nd goals of 2010 and 27th goal of the current season.
Pep Guardiola shuffled his pack slightly and named Éric Abidal alongside Carles Puyol in the centre of defence, while Javier Mascherano began in front of the back four. It was immediately evident that the change in personel made no difference to the level of play that the home team would produce. The first goal came after just eight minutes and was the result of a fluid move that ended with Pedro crossing from the right and Villa clipping the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Xavi Hernández was shining and during his 67 minutes on the pitch he completed over 120 passes. That kind of skill and accuracy meant that Real Sociedad were never likely to take anything from the game and they were continuously on the back foot. That domination did pay dividends again until just after the half hour mark when Pedro again became the provider and slid Iniesta in down the right and the Manchegan slotted the ball inside Claudio Bravo's near post.
The half-time interval provided a brief respite for la Real, but it was just a minute after the game began again that they went further behind. A move of around 27 passes culminated in Messi and Alves combining before the Argentinian passed the ball across the keeper and into the far corner of the net. Bravo looked bemused while his defence had to regroup once again and retain their shape to avoid conceding many, many more.
The Camp Nou was happy, but slightly subdued as the points were secure and it was not until four minutes from time that the supporters were brought to their feet once more with a fourth goal. Messi was the player that provided not only the spark but also the flames and the smoke as he raced across the area as four Real Sociedad defenders looked on before sending the ball back into the opposite corner of the goal.
Former Espanyol defender Raúl Tamudo was unlucky to be called back for being offside when sent clear before he lifted the ball well over Valdés' goal, but the visitors were to pick the ball out of their net once more. In the 89th minute Bojan raced into the area and after seeing his first shot blocked he took another touch before driving the ball past Bravo. Another five goals racked up and the team headed back to the top of the table after two hours in second place.
1-0 Villa (min 8)
2-0 Iniesta (min 32)
3-0 Messi (min 46)
4-0 Messi (min 86)
5-0 Bojan (min 90)