Pep Guardiola's men kept up the pressure on league leaders Real Madrid as the visitors were well beaten at Camp Nou
Two goals in either half from four different scorers helped Barcelona to an emphatic 4-0 win over Zaragoza at Camp Nou on Saturday evening. Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol, and David Villa were all on target as Javier Aguirre's side were comfortably beaten.
The Catalan club opened the scoring in the 18th minute in simple fashion. On-loan Celtic player Efrain Juarez fouled Cesc Fabregas deep in the Zaragoza half and the resulting free kick from the left-hand side saw Xavi whip a fantastic cross into the six yard box for Pique to power home.
Barcelona came close to doubling their lead on the half-hour mark but a fantastic double save from Roberto kept the home side at bay. Messi drove into the box and stabbed a shot at the bottom-left corner only for the Zaragoza goalkeeper to get down and make an excellent block, not before getting up quickly to deny Alexis Sanchez by saving with his feet.
However, Pep Guardiola's side did soon manage to get their second goal and it came three minutes before half-time. Zaragoza left Messi completely unmarked in the box and this allowed Cesc to thread a pass through the defence for the Argentine, who then sidestepped past Maurizio Lanzano and smashed the ball into the bottom left corner with his weaker foot.
The home side continued their domination after the break, and took just 10 minutes to get their third goal of the match. Fabregas found space in midfield and clipped a pass to the back post for Seydou Keita, who headed back across goal where Puyol was waiting. The Barcelona captain chested down and attempted to half-volley at goal but Roberto made a brave point-blank save. From the resulting scuffle on the line Puyol managed to slide the ball over the line.
Substitute Villa silenced his recent critics with an opportunistic goal in the 74th minute to give his side a four-goal advantage. Isaac Cuenca took advantage of a poor clearance from on-loan Real Madrid defender David Mateos to pick up the ball and drive down the wing and send a cross to the back post for the former Zaragoza striker, who scored with a powerful diving header.
Pep Guardiola's side now join Real Madrid on 28 points at the top of La Liga with Jose Mourinho's men facing Valencia at Mestalla following this match. Javier Aguirre's troops still find themselves perilously above the relegation zone in 16th place, with 10 points taken from 12 games.