FC Barcelona News: 18 March 2013; Barça Victorious Against Rayo Vallecano, Lionel Messi Extends Scoring Run

David Ramos

Messi extends scoring run as Barca cruise to win - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Barcelona maintained their 13 point lead at the top of La Liga with a 3-1 win against Rayo Vallecano as Lionel Messi bagged another two goals. The brilliant Argentine made the first goal for David Villa on 25 minutes and then doubled the lead himself in the 40th minute after an assist from Villa, extending his remarkable scoring run in the Spanish league to 18 consecutive matches.

Jordi Roura: "Life is easier when you have Leo Messi" | FC Barcelona
Jordi Roura was visibly pleased with his team's performance during the post-match press conference after the convincing 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano. The manager explained that "tonight’s match was great, especially after the fatigue from the Milan game ... the fans got to watch an entertaining game."

Leo Messi captains FC Barcelona for the first time in an official match | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi donned the captain armband for the first time in an official match for FC Barcelona. He did it at the Camp Nou, against Rayo Vallecano, when Andrés Iniesta gave the captaincy to the Argentine forward when he was subbed off on 63 minutes.

Piqué: "We’re going into the final stretch of the season in top physical condition" | FC Barcelona
"We have enough experience to know that these matches are not easy at all and that we needed to be just as intense tonight as we were on Tuesday," said Gerard Piqué after tonight's match against Rayo Vallecano. The full back went on to say that "Rayo worked hard and they made it difficult for us."

Adriano, sidelined for four to six weeks | FC Barcelona
Adriano Correia, who was named to Barça’s starting line-up this Sunday, was subbed off for Dani Alves after he picked up a muscle injury in the match against Rayo Vallecano. Tests confirm that the player has torn his right hamstring and will be sidelined for four to six weeks.

Diego Costa double downs Osasuna - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
The combative striker, who has been called up to Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil squad for their friendlies against Italy and Russia, finished off a counter-attack at the second attempt in the 35th minute. Just after the re-start he guided Koke's free kick into the net from close range and he came close to completing a hat-trick in a typically bruising encounter in Pamplona.

Sevilla keep Europe hopes alive | Sky Sports Football
Sevilla kept their faint hopes of achieving a Europa League place alive with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Real Zaragoza. Coke broke the deadlock midway through the first half before a red card to Stefan Babovic complicated things for the visitors, and the hosts romped to victory in the second period thanks to further goals by Coke, Jose Antonio Reyes and Alvaro Negredo.

Malaga stunned by Espanyol - Yahoo! Eurosport UK
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero, the rock upon which much of their success has been built this season, made a rare mistake when he fumbled a corner in the 49th minute and Diego Colotto volleyed the visitors in front against the run of play. The hosts looked short on spark and were undone again in the 66th when Mubarak Wakaso burst down the left and crossed for Sergio Garcia to volley a superb second into the top corner.

Levante slip up again | Sky Sports Football
Levante's hopes of another European adventure next season are looking increasingly bleak after dropping yet more points at relegation-battling Granada. The Valencia-based side enjoyed a memorable maiden campaign in Europe this term, reaching the last 16 before being knocked out by Rubin Kazan, but that run looks to have had a negative impact on their league form.

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