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Sunday, March 13, 2005 

Barcelona 2-0 Athletic



FC Barcelona opened up an eleven-point lead at the top of the Primera División on Saturday night after beating Athletic Club Bilbao 2-0 at Camp Nou with Deco and Ludovic Giuly both finding the target.

Eto'o chance
The Catalan club managed to put Tuesday's exit from the UEFA Champions League firmly behind them during the match, although they were forced to soak up some early pressure from the visitors. Leading goal scorer Samuel Eto'o missed a perfect chance to put Barça in front on 15 minutes with goalkeeper Dani Aranzubia stranded.

Deco delivers
Barça's persistence paid off five minutes later when Rafael Márquez put Deco through to shoot past Aranzubia - the ball taking a deflection off Luis Prieto before flying inside the near post. The home side went 2-0 up just before half-time when Ronaldinho found Giuly free on the right. The Frenchman cut inside to fire hard and low past Aranzubia.

Valdés saves
Athletic coach brought on young marksman Fernando Llorrente to provide extra firepower but it was Joseba Etxeberria who almost scored on the hour - Víctor Valdés coming out on top in the one-on-one as the home side held on to win 2-0.

BARCELONA: Valdés; Belletti, Puyol, Oleguer, Sylvinho, Márquez (Albertini, 66'); Xavi, Deco (Iniesta,66'), Giuly; Ronaldinho, Et'o (Maxi López, 78')

ATHLETIC: Aranzubia; Iraola, Lacruz, Luis Prieto, Javi González (Llorente, 46'); Murillo, Gurpegi (Tiko, 62'), Orbaiz, Del Horno; Etxeberria (Guerrero, 80'), Ezquerro

GOALS: 1-0, Deco (21'); 2-0, Giuly (39')

PRIMERA LIGA

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Barcelona 28 75
2. Real Madrid 28 54
3. Villareal 28 47
4. Espanyol 28 45
5. Betis 28 45
...
10. Athletic 27 38

Source: uefa.com

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