Recreativo Huelva 0 - 2 Barcelona

Barcelona opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Spanish first division with Lionel Messi's seventh goal of the season and a late strike from substitute Seydou Keita sealing a 2-0 win over Recreativo Huelva on Sunday. A cunning training ground free-kick provided the breakthrough with Argentine Messi peeling off the wall to fire a fierce shot home on 51 minutes before Keita scored minutes after coming on.

It was a ninth successive league win for Barca who had a great weekend with all their title rivals dropping points. Villarreal drew 2-2 with Malaga on Sunday and now sit three points behind the leaders while Real Madrid and Valencia are five points back after tasting defeats on Saturday.

Riesgo had himself a blinder with some fine stops to thwart Eto'o and Thierry Henry who missed a sitter. But a great 51st minute set-piece from the training ground opened the hosts up with Xavi Hernandez lining up a shot before passing to Messi, who had spun off the wall, and the Argentine hammered a shot into the roof of the net. On 85 minutes Keita, who had only been on the pitch eight minutes, added a second from close range after Eto'o screwed his shot.

See the highlight (Messi's goal);

Malaga 2 - 2 Villareal

Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini was understandably disappointed at dropping two points in the title race as Malaga scored a 90th minute equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw on Sunday. The so-called Yellow Submarine looked set for victory holding a 2-1 lead going into the dying moments of the match but Portuguese defender Helder equalised in the final minute.

After exiting the Spanish Cup to minnows Polideportivo Ejido in midweek, Villarreal wanted to respond and looked set to do just that. Giuseppe Rossi, who scored in the first minute in Villarreal's last match, struck on seven minutes and Jose Llorente restored their lead four minutes after the break after Sergio Duda had replied for Malaga.

But Helder levelled for Malaga and while Villarreal stretch their unbeaten league run to 17 games - with their last league defeat coming back in April - the two points dropped are a blow. fifa

Full results;
Valladolid 1 - 0 Real Madrid
Valencia 2 - 3 Sporting Gijon
Almeria 2 - 1 Mallorca
Atletico Madrid 4 - 1 Deportivo La Coruna
Espanyol 3 - 4 Numancia
Getafe 0 - 2 Sevilla
Malaga 2 - 2 Villarreal
Real Betis 3 - 1 Racing Santander
Athletic Bilbao 2 - 0 Osasuna
Recreativo Huelva 0 - 2 Barcelona


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