MADRID - Teenage striker Bojan Krkic struck twice to give Barcelona a 2-0 win at Almeria and restore the Primera Liga leaders' six-point advantage over champions Real Madrid on Sunday. Real had trimmed Barca's lead to three with Saturday's bruising 5-2 victory at Athletic Bilbao but Pep Guardiola's side produced a dominant performance to cap a week in which they also qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals. With 11 matches left, Barca have 66 points to Real's 60 and are still in with a chance of three trophies having also booked their place in May's King's Cup final against Bilbao. Third-placed Sevilla's bid to catch Real suffered a setback when they were held to a 2-2 draw at Malaga and Antonio Lopez netted a late header as Atletico Madrid battled back from two goals down to beat 10-man Villarreal 3-2. Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan were also on target and Atletico's victory moved them up to fifth on 43 points, two behind Villarreal and eight adrift of Sevilla. Barca coach Pep Guardiola left Primera Liga top scorer Samuel Eto'o on the bench and gave Bojan a start up front and the 18-year-old opened the scoring just after the break. Lionel Messi's shot rebounded off the post and he finished low past Almeria goalkeeper Diego Alves. A superb passing move involving Daniel Alves and Andres Iniesta led to his second three minutes later when he fired a close-range shot that ballooned up of a defender into the net. "We were lacking a bit of rhythm in the first half but in the end we got there," Messi said in a television interview. "We were maybe feeling a bit tired after playing in the champions league midweek." STUNNING DISPLAY At the Rosaleda earlier on Sunday, Frederic Kanoute and Luis Fabiano scored second-half goals to salvage a point for Sevilla after a double from Salva Ballesta put Malaga 2-0 ahead. Mali international Kanoute ran on to Diego Perotti's pass and finished between the legs of keeper Inaki Goitia in the 74th minute and Brazilian Luis Fabiano nodded in the equaliser with just over five minutes left. Malaga midfielder Javier Calleja was shown a straight red card for a foul on Diego Capel with 10 minutes left. The margin of victory at the Calderon would have been much wider but Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez produced a stunning display to block a wave of Atletico efforts, including Diego Forlan's penalty in the third minute. The visitors took a surprise lead on 19 minutes when Javi Venta found space on the right and crossed for Matias Fernandez to finish high past the stranded Leo Franco. Giuseppe Rossi slipped the ball through for Cani to double the lead early in the second period with a neat chip and Aguero was quickest to the ball to stab into an empty net after Forlan's shot rebounded off a post. Villarreal played the final 25 minutes with 10 men after Venta was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Simao Sabrosa and Forlan's equaliser on 80 minutes set the stage for Lopez's winner three minutes later. Elsewhere, Serbian striker Nikola Zigic scored twice as Racing Santander trounced visiting Numancia 5-0 and Deportivo Coruna were beaten 3-2 at Sporting Gijon. Ten-man Espanyol came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at home to fellow strugglers Real Mallorca, Real Betis were held to a goalless draw at home to Osasuna and Real Valladolid beat visiting Getafe 1-0.
15 March 2009
Get FourFourTwo interviews, features and fun in your inbox every week. For free!
Thank you for registering for our Newsletter
We will send regular updates on the ongoing FourFourTwo updates to the email address you have supplied.