FC Barcelona triumphed 5-1 at city neighbours RCD Espanyol to guarantee themselves top spot in Spain during the Christmas break, with Villarreal CF certain to remain third until the new year after seeing off RCD Mallorca 3-1.
With second-placed Real Madrid CF not in action until Sunday's meeting with Sevilla FC, Barcelona moved five points clear courtesy of their tenth Liga win in a row. They were ahead with 19 minutes gone as Lionel Messi set up Pedro Rodríguez to finish impressively and Xavi Hernández then buried from a tight angle on the half-hour.
Pedro added his second 30 minutes later, before Pablo Osvaldo became the first player to score a goal against Barça in seven matches soon after. David Villa promptly responded for the visitors with two late strikes.
Villarreal's victory against Mallorca extended their unbeaten home record and it was Santi Cazorla who got them going after 11 minutes, with a Guiseppe Rossi penalty (35) and Nilmar's tenth effort this term (51) helping complete the win.
In fourth, Valencia CF leapfrogged Espanyol via a 2-1 success at Real Sociedad de Fútbol, Aritz Aduriz making the difference in added time. Also on Saturday, Athletic Club won 2-1 at Levante UD and RC Deportivo La Coruña drew 1-1 with second-bottom Real Sporting de Gijón.
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|Last updated: 25/07/2011 14:54 CET|