Pedro goal seals Barça win
Pedro's goal proved enough to secure a 1-0 win for Barcelona against Sporting Gijon on Saturday at El Molinon which maintained their five-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table. The Tenerife-born winger struck after half an hour to give Barça the lead. He latched on to Andres Iniesta's pass and kept his cool to fire past Sporting goalkeeper Juan Pablo Colinas at the near post.
Real prevented Barça increasing their advantage with a 3-1 victory against Deportivo La Coruna at the Estadio Riazor. Esteban Granero headed the visitors in front and France striker Karim Benzema slotted home the second five minutes before half-time after an exquisite back-heel from Guti deceived the Depor defence.
The hosts pulled one back with four minutes to go when Riki fell under a challenge from Sergio Ramos, and the former Real Madrid man got up and tucked the penalty past Iker Casillas himself.
But Benzema made sure of the points in the first minute of stoppage time when he rifled home a low shot after Alvaro Arbeloa laid the ball back to him from the right-hand side of the box.
Lower down the table, Luis Garcia's second-half strike gave Espanyol a much-needed victory at home to Athletic Bilbao. The Barcelona-based side came up against an inspired Gorka Iraizoz in the first half, with the Athletic goalkeeper denying his former club with several fine saves.
But the Catalans' constant pressure finally paid off 13 minutes into the second half, when Luis Garcia struck the winner to give Mauricio Pochettino's side a welcome boost following their recent dismal run.