Barcelona vs. Real Zaragoza: Score, Analysis and Grades
Francisco Montanes netted an equalizer in the 24th minute for Real Zaragoza to make their match at Camp Nou against mighty Barcelona interesting, but that didn't last long.
Alex Song drove home a goal in the 28th minute to give Barcelona a 2-1 lead, and there was never a great fear that Barca would surrender that lead.
Song's goal was sandwiched between two from the great Lionel Messi. He opened scoring in the 16th minute and he closed it in the 60th.
Zaragoza cannot be blamed for a lack of aggression or effort. They fired off 13 shots and committed 15 fouls, but as the fouls attest, they were not exactly harnessing their power in the most effective way.
Barca dominated possession with 66 percent. This led to the all too familiar feeling that Barcelona was just cruising along, and we were all just waiting for the next great play from Messi.
With the win, Barcelona maintains their comfortable lead in La Liga with 34 points.
Lionel Messi: A
It was just another stellar performance from Lionel Messi.
Both of his goals on this day came off his left foot and found the bottom left corner of the net. But as is typically the case with Messi, his performance was about far more than goal-scoring.
He was a constant presence disrupting the defense and did a nice job setting up his teammates. He also assisted on Song's goal.
Andres Iniesta: B+
Iniesta did not show up on the stat sheet with a goal or an assist, but he definitely made his presence felt in this match.
He was attacking and aggressive. He managed to fire off three shots and his physical play drew four fouls while he committed just one.
Robet Gago: C
Barcelona had just three shots on goal this match, and they scored all three.
Gago couldn't have done much to stop them, but this match would have been no different had Gago not even been on the pitch. That's never good.
Francisco Montanes: B+
Montanes played a nice match. His right-footed goal to the bottom right corner gave his team hope. Sure, that hope was short-lived, but he delivered it for a few brief moments.
Montanes tried to do more, and he fired off three shots, but his side just didn't have enough possession to give him quality looks.
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