• Spain's news in English

Messi strikes again as Barcelona exit rut

AFP · 10 Mar 2013, 12:54

Published: 10 Mar 2013 12:54 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

With a huge game to come against AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, Roura named a much-changed side with Lionel Messi only starting on the bench.

However, after Alexis Sanchez had given Barca a deserved half-time lead, Messi came on and sealed the three points with a lovely finish two minutes from time to extend his scoring streak in the league to 17 matches.

It was ending an unwanted streak that Roura was most pleased with though as Barça didn't concede for the first time in 14 games stretching back to early January.

"Every competition is different and Tuesday will be a different story, but I have always said that the best way to prepare for a game is to win the previous one," he told reporters.

"We were very intense and Depor hardly had a chance at goal. We managed to keep a clean sheet which was very important and we are very happy because we have picked up three more points and maintained our advantage at the top."

Of the fringe players who started Alexis and Thiago were the two who could potentially have played their way into the side on Tuesday as David Villa had an off night in front of goal and Cesc Fabregas was again very ineffective.

Indeed sections of the home fans booed the former Arsenal skipper as he was replaced by Sergio Busquets in the second-half, but Roura insists he has no doubts in the Spanish international's quality.

"The fans have the right to say what they want and every player will have his good and bad moments in the season, but we are delighted with Cesc and he is a player of undoubted quality.

"The line-up for Tuesday has not yet been decided.

"Alexis has been an important player for us and for Tuesday he is another option that we have available.

"He has scored and set-up a goal, but it is also his movement up front and the way he pressures defenders that helps us."

Depor meanwhile remain rooted to the foot of the table and it was easy to see why as they failed to create even one clear-cut opening against a makeshift Barça side.

The Galicians are eight points off safety and having won only three games so far this season, manager Fernando Vazquez believes they have to win seven of their remaining 11 to survive.

"We know just how difficult it is going to be," he said.

Story continues below…

"We need to win at least seven games of the 11 that are left, but whilst it is mathematically possible to save ourselves, we will fight to make it happen."

Deportivo's chances of survival weren't helped by a second consecutive win for Mallorca as two goals from Alejandro Alfaro gave them a 2-1 victory over Sevilla.

Alvaro Negredo had briefly levelled for Sevilla in the second-half but Alfaro's winner 24 minutes from time moves Gregorio Manzano's men to within a point of safety.

Malaga, who are also in Champions League action in midweek as they try to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Porto, remain in fourth after a 1-1 draw away to Valladolid, whilst Rayo Vallecano kept up their hopes of qualifying for Europe with a 2-0 win over Espanyol.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available