Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona warmed up for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg with comfortable but differing victories.
Gonzalo Higuaín scored a hat-trick (31, 42, 53) as Copa del Rey winners Madrid gave notice of their form by overwhelming third-placed Valencia CF 6-3. The Azulgrana responded with a 2-0 defeat of CA Osasuna at the Camp Nou. The Liga rivals showed wholesale changes to the teams which started their cup final meeting three days earlier, with a debut for defender Nacho and the inclusion of Higuaín being two of nine alterations to the Madrid lineup.
Higuaín, who returned from a back problem earlier this month which had kept him out since November, was involved in two of the other goals as Karim Benzema (23) and Kaká (39, 62) also got in on the act. The hosts responded through Roberto Soldado (60), Jonas (80) and Jordi Alba (85).
Only four of the Barcelona XI which lost 1-0 to Madrid on Wednesday kept their places, with one of the survivors, David Villa, giving the hosts the lead (24) against Osasuna. On as a substitute for Villa, Lionel Messi scored his 50th club goal of the season three minutes from time as Josep Guardiola's side restored their eight-point cushion at the top.
In the late match, Athletic Club strengthened their grip on fifth place thanks to a 2-1 triumph over Real Sociedad de Fútbol.
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|Last updated: 28/06/2011 14:49 CET|
Javi Martínez 31 (o.g.)
|2||Real Madrid CF||33||80|
|7||Club Atlético de Madrid||32||46|
|11||Real Sporting de Gijón||32||38|
|12||RC Deportivo La Coruña||32||38|
|13||Real Sociedad de Fútbol||33||38|
|15||Real Racing Club||32||37|