6 Things We Learned in Barcelona's 3-1 Win over Real Zaragoza
Barcelona defeated Real Zaragoza, 3-1, on Saturday at the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi provided a double for the Catalans with a goal in the first and second halves.
The other goal for Barca came in the first half as Alex Song scored off of a pass from Messi.
The leaders of La Liga were challenged for most of the first half by their opponents, who got a goal from Francisco Montanes in the 24th minute, but Barcelona dominated most of the second half.
Here are six things we learned from Barca's win on Saturday.
Lionel Messi Really Can Do Everything
Not only did Lionel Messi score two goals on Saturday, he provided the assist on the other goal by Barca.
Messi's pass in the 28th minute found a wide open Alex Song in front of goal and the midfielder scored the club's second goal.
In Barcelona's 12 La Liga matches, Messi has 17 goals and five assists, including eight matches where the Argentinian has scored at least two goals.
Injury to Alexis Sanchez Will Not Hurt Barcelona
After Alexis Sanchez went down with an injury on international duty with Chile this week, Barcelona had to find someone to replace him in the lineup.
Luckily, Barcelona may be the deepest club in Europe.
On Saturday, Pedro started on the right side of Lionel Messi in the front three of the 4-3-3 formation.
Pedro played a solid match before being taken off for Cesc Fabregas in the 78th minute.
Fans of the club should not be worried at all about the absence of Sanchez, as Pedro and Cristian Tello will get more playing time until the Chilean returns.
Martin Montoya Was Barcelona's Weakest Link
Manager Tito Vilanova decided to start Martin Montoya at right back because of Dani Alves' potential fatigue after Brazil's friendly with Colombia in New Jersey on Wednesday.
Montoya did not cost Barcelona the match but he was exposed at times by Zaragoza's Francisco Montanes and Franco Zuculini.
When Tuesday's Champions League match comes around, expect Montoya to be back on the bench and for Alves to take back his spot at right back.
Substitution of Franco Zuculini Shut Down Zaragoza Attack
In the 58th minute, Real Zaragoza manager Manolo Jimenez decided to take Franco Zuculini off of the pitch and replaced him with Lucas Wilchez.
Zuculini was the best player on the pitch in the first half for Zaragoza and was one of the key parts to the Zaragoza attack when he went forward.
For the 32 minutes he was on the pitch, Wilchez was very quiet and Zaragoza were barely able to challenge Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes for the rest of the match.
Real Zaragoza Are Better Than a 11th Place Club
With the loss on Saturday, Real Zaragoza stayed in 11th place in the La Liga table.
Zaragoza may have struggled against Barcelona in the second half, but they were also without two star defenders for their trip to the Camp Nou.
Cristian Sapunaru and Jose Mari were missing from the starting 11 because of injuries suffered in the past week.
With those two players in the lineup, Zaragoza won three of their last four before losing to Barcelona on Saturday.
If those two players can get healthy and stay healthy, Zaragoza will be able to not only finish in the top 10 in La Liga, but they could potentially challenge for the European spots.
Barcelona Are Still Unbeaten in La Liga
Barcelona's unbeaten streak in La Liga was extended to 12 with their win on Saturday.
The Catalans are the only club without a loss domestically and their only slip-up has been a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.
Going into this weekend, Barca were already six points ahead of second place Atletico Madrid and 11 points ahead of Real Madrid, who sit in third place.
The next club on the schedule that could potentially challenge the unbeaten streak is Atletico Madrid, who visit the Camp Nou on December 16th.