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Barcelona And Valencia Get Big Wins

Barcelona and Valencia both got narrow victories against Real Zaragoza and Mallorca respectively ahead of their decisive Champions League games next week.

Seydou Keita scored the only goal of the game at the Camp Nou, where Barcelona, who host Arsenal on Tuesday trailing 2-1, prevailed against Real Zaragoza. His second Liga goal of the campaign arrived two minutes before the break after Lionel Messi’s weaving run to the byline resulted in a tap-in for the midfielder.

While the Azulgrana extended their cushion over Real Madrid to ten points, Valencia consolidated third spot with a 2-1 victory at Mallorca. Defender Iván Ramis put the hosts ahead from the spot but goals from Pablo Hernández (33, 56) earned Unai Emery’s men the points.

Aritz Aduriz, initially ruled out of Valencia’s second leg at Schalke on Wednesday (1-1), started against his former club having recovered from an ankle injury, while David Albelda made his first appearance since 21 December.

Atlético Madrid, meanwhile, are up to sixth as a result of a 3-1 home win against Villarreal. Sergio Agüero and Diego Forlán turned the match in the hosts’ favour after Giuseppe Rossi (34) had cancelled out José Antonio Reyes’s long-range opener with a curling free-kick.