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Messi guides Barca to victory

Barcelona shrugged off a last-minute dash by train and bus to Pamplona to defeat Osasuna 3-0 on Saturday, maintaining their two-point lead at the top of La Liga after Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0.

sports Updated: Dec 06, 2010 01:34 IST

Barcelona shrugged off a last-minute dash by train and bus to Pamplona to defeat Osasuna 3-0 on Saturday, maintaining their two-point lead at the top of La Liga after Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0.

A wildcat strike by Spanish air traffic controllers led to Pep Guardiola's side arriving at the Reyno de Navarra stadium just before the start time, forcing a 50-minute delay to the kickoff.

Despite limited preparation time, Lionel Messi scored twice and Pedro once as the champions made it seven wins from seven on the road this season.

Real Madrid recovered from their 5-0 'Clasico' drubbing at the Nou Camp to beat Valencia, though it needed the 65th-minute sending off of Valencia midfielder David Albelda to give them the edge.

Barca have 37 points from 14 matches, Real have 35 and Valencia stay fifth with 24.

Atletico Madrid slumped to a 2-0 defeat at promoted Levante, making it three defeats in a week for the misfiring Europa League holders.

Defender Nano headed Levante in front from a corner after three minutes and Ecuador striker Felipe Caicedo sealed the win with a wonderful finish in the 59th.

Atletico, who lost 3-2 at home to Espanyol and Aris Salonika over the past week, stayed seventh with 20 points.


West Brom beat flat Newcastle 3-1

LONDON: West Bromwich Albion beat Newcastle United 3-1 on Sunday to jump from 13th place to seventh in the Premier League. Both promoted teams began the day on 19 points but West Brom looked sharper and deserved their victory.

After a flat opening half-hour, Somen Tchoyi fashioned the breakthrough with some neat control on the edge of the box and curled the ball beyond Tim Krul after 32 minutes.

The second goal came after 71 minutes when Newcastle's Danny Guthrie slipped to present Peter Odemwingie with a clear run on goal.

The Nigeria striker, a deadline-day signing from Lokomotiv Moscow, got the third a minute from the end, running on to a simple long ball by Marek Cechl and rounding the keeper. Peter Lovenkrands grabbed an injury-time consolation for Newcastle.

West Brom are the classic “yo-yo club” as they regularly swing from Premier League relegation to Championship promotion. Recently, they lost to Stoke, Blackpool and Wigan but also won at Arsenal and Everton, drawing at Man United. Newcastle have been similarly schizophrenic. A season that has brought a 6-0 win over Aston Villa, a 5-1 thrashing of Sunderland, a win at Arsenal and last week's draw with Chelsea also had a 5-1 loss at Bolton and home losses to Stoke, Blackburn and Blackpool.