Four-star visitors met little resistance ...Barcelona recorded an easy 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna at the Riazor to go five points clear at the top of La Liga before the remaining games from this round.
David Villa opened the scoring in the first half to give the Blaugrana a one-goal cushion at half-time. Lionel Messi added a second with a majestic free-kick after the break, Andres Iniesta got the third and Pedro Rodriguez put the icing on the cake with the fourth to seal the three points for the visitors.
Deportivo started the game defending deep in their own half in an effort to keep the Catalan juggernauts at bay and that seemed to work for the first 20 minutes or so as Barcelona were struggling to create more than the occasional half-chance.
The first real opportunity of the game surprisingly fell to the hosts in the 22nd minute when Adrian found himself on the end of a stray ball on the edge of the six-yard box that somehow was not cleared by Barcelona's defence. The striker, however, could not even make the slightest contact with the ball and the chance went begging.
Depor were soon going to regret missing their chance as in the 26th minute Villa opened the scoring after a brilliant through-ball by Messi. Barcelona continued to dominate the proceedings and looked likely to score again before the break.
In the 34th minute the Catalans had the ball in the net, but it was disallowed due to a marginal offside call, wiping the smile off the face of midweek hero Eric Abidal. This proved to be the final moment of interest for the first half as the Blaugrana entered the break with a one-goal cushion.
Nothing changed on the pitch in the second period as Barcelona were looking to double their advantage. Despite fighting valiantly Deportivo were struggling to keep the Catalans at bay and were soon to concede again.
In the 52nd minute Messi got on the scoresheet with a stunning free-kick, which left Daniel Aranzubia with no chance as the ball flew into the top left corner. Barcelona, not content with the result yet, continued to press for more and it seemed like it was going to be a long night for the hosts.
The Blaugrana soon hit the Galicians with a double salvo as in the 80th minute Iniesta added a third with a stinging diagonal shot and moments later Pedro was left with a simple tap-in following a great run by Messi.
The Argentinian had a great chance to complete his brace two minutes before the final whistle, but could not put the ball past Aranzubia. Adrian, too, could have made the final amendment to the scoreline in injury time, but was denied by Victor Valdes.
Following tonight's result, Barcelona are first in the standings with 49 points, while Deportivo are 12th with 21. The Blaugrana's next league game is at home against Malaga next week, while Miguel Angel Lotina's men visit Valencia on the same day.
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