by Anton Johan
Spanish premier league football club F.C. Barcelona
lengthened its lead in the La Liga
standings to 43 points after 16 games with another massive result, after it trounced R.C.D. Espanyol 5-1 on the weekend.
Now two points clear of La Liga second place team Real Madrid, there is no doubt that Barcelona are a sending a clear message to their rivals that they do not intend to let the 2010/11 La Liga title out of their sights for a minute.
In their match against fifth place team Espanyol, Barcelona once again played like a slick, well-oiled machine. What's more the derby between Barcelona and Espanyol is always a highly anticipated affair, where anything can happen.
And things did happen - only not for Espanyol. It took just 18 minutes for Barca to score their first of five goals at the new Cornellà-El Prat stadium, courtesy of top-rated forward Pedrito, to the absolute delight of Barcelona's fans.
And 11 minutes later Barcelona went 2-0 up from an equally satisfying goal from talented midfielder Xavi. However, despite Barcelona's early dominance, Espanyol refused to rollover as they tried everything they could to equalise.
Unfortunately for the Periquitos every challenge was met with resistance, as Barcelona refused to let their rivals gain even the slightest foothold. That said, such was Espanyol's resolve that they staved off additional first half goals.
And in the second half they managed to keep Barcelona at bay for fifteen minutes until Pedrito scored his second of the match to make it 3-0. Undeterred, Espanyol answered three minutes later courtesy of striker Pablo Osvaldo.
With renewed hope of catching up to Barcelona, Espanyol's fans cheered their team at every opportunity, but the side was up against Barcelona's 'brick wall', and in the 78th minute Barca's best striker David Villa made it 4-1.
Just six minutes later, he added his second of the match to give Barcelona the 5-1 victory at the final whistle. But even though the home side were beaten good and proper, it was a great game and fans got their money's worth.
Here are the complete La Liga results from the weekend:
R.C. Deportivo 1-1 Real S. de Gijón
Levante U.D. 1-2 Athletic Club
Villarreal C.F. 3-1 R.C.D. Mallorca
C. At. Osasuna 0-0 Real Zaragoza CD
U.D. Almería 2-3 Getafe C.F.
R.C.D. Espanyol 1-5 F.C. Barcelona
Real Sociedad 1-2 Valencia C.F.
Málaga C.F. 0-3 At. de Madrid
Real Madrid C.F. 1-0 Sevilla F.C.
Real Racing Club 0-0 Hércules C.F.