Barcelona continued their march towards the Spanish Primera Liga title as Samuel Eto’o scored twice in their 3-1 home victory over Sporting Gijon — a result that moves them once again 12 points clear of second-placed Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Eto’o scored his opener in the 23rd minute when he tapped home Thierry Henry’s cross, after Andres Iniesta had carried the ball with pace from his own half. The Cameroon striker added his 21st goal of the season, four clear of nearest top scorer challenger David Villa on 17, when he smashed a Lionel Messi pass into the top corner with five minutes of the first half remaining. Brazilian Dani Alves added a third in the second half as Barcelona eased to their 10th successive league win, before Gijon midfielder Kike Mateo trimmed Barcelona’s lead with a low shot from the edge of the area. Eto’o was denied his hat-trick when he struck the post, while Henry spurned several chances to also find the scoresheet.
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Meanwhile, new Atletico Madrid coach Abel Resino made a winning debut as his side defeated Recreativo Huelva 3-0 to record their first victory in 2009. Resino replaced Javier Aguirre this week and the change had the desired effect as Atletico closed to within two points of fourth-placed Valencia. Sergio Aguero scored after just two minutes and Diego Forlan hit a quick-fire brace to wrap up the points. Villarreal stay two points ahead of Atletico in fifth after a 2-1 triumph over Numancia, with Giuseppe Rossi netting both the goals.