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Villa, Messi combine to see Barca down Rayo
Barcelona, Spain (Sports Network) - David Villa and Lionel Messi combined to give Barcelona a 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Villa scored the opening goal off of an assist from Messi only to return the favor as he set up the Argentine for a brace.
The win sees Barcelona extend its lead at the top of the table to 13 points as the Catalans improve to 74 points through 28 games.
Rayo Vallecano drops its third La Liga contest in its last five outings to remain on 41 points.
Barcelona opened the scoring in the 25th minute by taking advantage of a three-on-two situation. Messi surged forward and slipped a pass into the path of Villa, who fired a one-time shot past the on-rushing Ruben.
The duo combined later on in the first half, but this time it was Villa setting the Argentine up for a finish. The Spanish striker collect possession at the top of the penalty area and split the defense with a well-weighted pass, allowing Messi to slot home Barcelona's second of the match.
Messi and Villa connected once more with the Argentine forward putting the finishing touches on a fast break thanks to an assist from his Spanish strike partner in the 57th minute.
Rayo managed to pull back a consolation goal in the 70th minute as Raul Tamudo fired home a corner kick delivered by Piti.
Sevilla 4, Real Zaragoza 0
Seville, Spain - Coke Andujar recorded a brace as Sevilla marched to a comfortable 4-0 defeat of 10-man Real Zaragoza at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday.
Andujar opened the scoring in the 28th minute before Zaragoza's Stefan Babovic was sent off three minutes later. Sevilla took advantage of the extra man as Andujar doubled the lead in the 52nd before Jose Antonio Reyes and Alvaro Negredo extended it with goals in the 63rd and 68th minutes, respectively.
Sevilla climbs to 38 points on the season with its 11th win of the La Liga season. Real Zaragoza is winless in its last 11 league outings, sitting two points clear of the relegation zone with 26 points from 28 matches.
Espanyol 2, Malaga 0
Malaga, Spain - Malaga suffered a disappointing defeat in its quest for a top- four finish, falling 2-0 to Espanyol at La Rosaleda on Sunday.
A scoreless first half gave way to an impressive Espanyol display in the second period as Diego Colotto got the visitors off the mark in the 49th minute before Sergio Garcia secured the result with a finish into the top corner 17 minutes later.
Malaga, winless in its last four La Liga contests, drops to sixth place with 44 points, three points back of Real Sociedad. Espanyol climbs to 35 points to pull 11 points clear of the drop zone.
Atletico Madrid 2, Osasuna 0
Navarra, Spain - Diego Costa scored on opposite sides of halftime to lift Atletico Madrid to a 2-0 defeat of Osasuna at El Sadar on Sunday.
Osasuna never looked a threat following Costa's opener in the 35th minute, but the 24-year-old secured the victory for the visitors by scoring again in the 48th minute.
Atletico remains in third place in Spain's top flight by improving to 60 points, pulling within a point of second-place Real Madrid. Osasuna has lost two in a row to remain on 28 points.
Granada 1, Levante 1
Granada, Spain - Granada and Levante traded goals on either side of halftime as the two sides played to a 1-1 draw at Los Carmenes on Sunday.
Guillherme Siqueira got the home side off the mark with a penalty kick in the 32nd minute, but his strike was overturned by Robert Acquafresca's equalizer five minutes after the halftime interval.
Granada has drawn two straight league matches to improve to 28 points while Levante's three successive ties leave the club on 37 points.
03/17 18:20:22 ET
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