Xavi gives leaders Barca 2-1 victory

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

A superb late strike from midfielder Xavi gave leaders Barcelona a 2-1 victory away at Albacete in the Primera Liga on Saturday.

Xavi gives leaders Barca 2-1 victory

Albacete:

A superb late strike from midfielder Xavi gave leaders Barcelona a 2-1 victory away at Albacete in the Primera Liga on Saturday. Andres Iniesta opened the scoring for Barca in only the second minute, before a determined Albacete fight back was rewarded with a deserved equaliser midway through the second half. The home side had several chances to go ahead, but just as they were getting on top Xavi decided the match with a spectacular finish. Albacete, fourth from bottom, entertained runaway leaders Barcelona in the Primera Liga on Saturday. Barca coach Frank Rijkaard decided to play Ronaldinho, whose place in the starting eleven had been in doubt due to an inflamed ankle. But it was the Brazilian's midfield colleague Andres Iniesta who proved most alert with less than two minutes on the clock, catching Albacete defender Franciso Pena unaware to stun the Carlos Belmonte Stadium into silence. Albacete bravely fought their way back into the match. Only a fine save from Victor Valdes denied Uruguayan striker Antonio Pacheco, after he had been put through by David Sanchez's clever back-heel. But they got the equaliser their efforts deserved in the 73rd minute, when Mark Gonzalez's clever flicked header beat Victor Valdes. The home side had chances to go ahead - the best of them coming in the 81st minute, Pacheco getting a foot to Gonzalez's cross-shot but failing to beat Carlos Puyol on the goal line. Albacete's hearts were to be broken, however, with just five minutes remaining. David Sanchez failed to properly head clear, the ball fell invitingly for Xavi - and the Spanish international cracked an unstoppable volley past Ronny Gaspercic. The win puts Barca 12 points clear at the top of the table, although their nearest rivals Real Madrid and Espanyol have yet to play this weekend. (AP)



Topics : Football
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