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PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Barça’s magnificent start to the season continued with a comprehensive win in Vallecas to make it eight wins and a draw from their first nine games in La Liga. Goals from Villa, Messi (2), Xavi and Cesc saw Barça through after a pretty well balanced start, which really tilted the visitors’ way after the second goal, as Tito’s men took advantage of Rayo’s advanced back line.

Tight start

Tito had warned that this could be a tough match and the first quarter of an hour seemed to back that up as a combative Rayo challenged Barça for possession and even came close to taking the lead. Barça, with Busquets and Adriano at the heart of defence, were finding it hard to link up in midfield and created very few chances.

Villa opener

Then, on 20 minutes, Cesc and Villa linked up brilliantly and the Asturian fired low past the keeper for his first goal as a starter this season to give Barça the lead. Now they were ahead, Barça took control and began to dominate possession, though there were no more goals before the break.

Brilliant second goal

In the second half, Barça came out determined to put the game to bed and after just two minutes Messi rounded off a brilliant team move which saw Pedro beat two defenders and lay the ball off for Montoya who set up the world number one to fire home for the second.

Xavi, Cesc and Messi finish the game off

Rayo kept trying and Paco Jémez threw on Nicki Bille for full back Casado in a brave move which failed to bear fruit as Barça took full advantage of the spaces behind the advanced Rayo defence, with Xavi, Cesc and Messi all getting goals in an easy end to the game.


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