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Puyol abraça Messi després d'un gol. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Tito Vilanova’s men have taken 34 of the first 36 points in play in La Liga after another convincing win at the Camp Nou tonight, seeing off Zaragoza and showing no ill effects from the international break. A brilliant start saw Leo Messi put Barça one up and although Zaragoza got their equaliser, Song soon restored the lead and in the second half Messi scored his 78th goal of the calendar year. Barça finished the game with ten home grown players on the pitch.

Strong start

Puyol and Piqué were back at the heart of the defence and Barça began strongly, dominating possession and moving the ball about at pace to pin Zaragoza back in their own half. Within a minute, Jordi Alba broke down the left and set up Messi, who shot wide, but the Argentinean didn’t make the same mistake on 15 minutes, when he again linked up with Alba and slipped the ball past the Zaragoza keeper for the opener.

Song gets his first goal for the team

Barça looked comfortable on the ball, attacking en masse and recovering possession quickly, but Zaragoza then equalised with their first attack. Montoya blocked a Montañes effort and gave away a corner, from which Montañes himself hit a shot which hit Puyol and beat Valdes. The draw didn’t last too long though, as from another corner Messi controlled a loose ball and set up Song to make it 2-1 with his first goal since joining the Club.

Messi finishes the game off

That goal saw the game begin to open up and even though Barça kept control, they lost some of the fluency and Zaragoza even managed to threaten Valdes with a couple of efforts. After the break, Xavi imposed some order on the game again and on the hour mark, Montoya crossed for Messi to fire home with a clinical finish. Soon after, Tello came on for David Villa.

Solid defence

Zaragoza threw on Postiga and looked to dead ball situations to get back into the game, but with Puyol – who received a standing ovation when he was taken off – replaced by Bartra, the Barça defence stood solid. Iniesta was set up by Cesc on 78 minutes and saw his effort hit the woodwork as Zaragoza began to leave spaces at the back, but Barça were content to avoid any problems and control the final minutes with their trademark passing style.

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