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09-23-2010, 09:16 AM #1
La Liga: Barcelona edge past Sporting 1-0Barcelona survived a tough contest and the absence of Lionel Messi as David Villa's second-half goal earned the Spanish champions a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon on Wednesday.
Daniel Alves played Villa through on goal in the 50th minute and the Barcelona striker made no mistake as he shot over goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar for the only goal at the Camp Nou stadium.
Barcelona dominated play but lacked the cutting edge in front of goal that Messi usually provides, as the Argentina forward missed the match with an ankle injury.
A player like Leo you always miss, there's no doubt," Villa said.
Sergio Gonzalez scored with a fierce shot at the edge of the area in the 39th minute to give Levante its first victory of the season in a 1-0 result at Almeria, which remained in the bottom three without a win.
Zaragoza is also still looking for a first win following a 0-0 draw against Hercules, which has not won since its shock victory over Barcelona.
Valencia can return to being outright Spanish leader with a victory against Atletico Madrid later.
Real Madrid, which beat Espanyol 3-0 Tuesday, has 10 points to lead by one point from Valencia and Barcelona. Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao have seven each.
Like Madrid a night earlier, Barcelona had difficulty imposing itself on its opponent in the first half as it played the first of at least two games without Messi, who was injured against Atletico on Sunday.
The Catalans dominated possession but couldn't beat Cuellar, who kept out Villa's deflected shot in the sixth and another effort by the Spain striker in the 20th with Sporting striker Mate Bilic rolling a chance wide in-between....being a human...