By Andy Hall
FC Barcelona equalled their best-ever start to a season by defeating RC Deportivo La Coruña 2-1 at Camp Nou, opening up a nine-point lead in the Primera División. Spain's top scorer Samuel Eto'o got the winning goal to take his total to nine.
Fran fires in
However, it was the visitors who went ahead after seven minutes thanks to blistering strike from captain Fran González. The left-winger received a loose ball on the edge of the box and fired past Víctor Valdés. The home side responded almost immediately as Brazilian defender Juliano Belletti - who was later carried off with a serious-looking knee injury - cut back from the by-line and Xavi Hernández picked his spot from ten metres to make it 1-1.
Depor's Manuel Pablo succeeded in containing Ronaldinho for much of the game but he was powerless shortly after the half-hour. Rafael Márquez's miscued clearance landed at the feet of Barcelona forward Ludovic Giuly on the right wing and his pinpoint centre was tapped into an empty net by Eto'o for the winner.
In Saturday's other league match, Real Betis Balompié drew 0-0 at Albacete Balompié. In a game of few chances, Betis goalkeeper Antonio Doblas thwarted Antonio Pacheco in the closing minutes, tipping his cross-shot over the bar.
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|Last updated: 31/01/2012 10:14 CET|
Barral 30, 44
|Venue: Palma de Mallorca|