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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 13 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Dec 20, 2005

Barca 2-0 Celta: Eto'o notches 17th goal of season

Samuel Eto'o continued his remarkable goal-scoring form this season as Barcelona extended their winning streak to 13 matches with a 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo.

Celta may have had the better of the opening spell but it was Eto'o, looking as deadly as ever, who grabbed the headlines with his 16th and 17th goals of the season either side of half-time.

An indication of the talent available to Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard was shown before kick-off when Ronaldinho paraded his Fifa Player of the Year Award, Samuel Eto'o his third place trophy and Lionel Messi his Tuttosport Young Player of the Year Award.

But in a lively start Celta Vigo showed they would not be overawed by the home side and their 12 match winning run as they tried to push forward.

Fernando Baiano - who has been a key man in attack for Celta this season with his pace, strength, and deft touch - set up the first chance. Played in by Silva, he fired a dangerous ball across the face of goal but Antonio Nunez was unable to stretch far enough at the far post.

Celta were combining well in midfield and finding holes in the Barca defence. Canobbio had an excellent chance to give his side the lead but shot tamely with just the keeper to beat.

Fernando Vazquez's team were using the wings well through Placente and Nunez as Celta played some of the football more associated with their hosts, who - aside from some tantalising runs from Messi - looked below their best.

Baiano was ruing his misfortune after 33 minutes when he thundered a shot against the crossbar from the right-side of the area with the keeper well beaten. A minute later, he had another chance, but Victor Valdes was able to smother his shot as Baiano squandered a one-on-one situation.

Barca were limited to a number of half-chances but showed their potency with a goal out of the blue in the 38th minute. Ronaldinho quickly took a free-kick and with the Celta defence napping, Eto'o slipped the ball past the keeper.

The matched dropped in pace at the start of the second half with Celta struggling to retain the same rhythm they showed in the first half.

Baiano found himself increasingly isolated as his team-mates were unable to get forward and support him.

Barca were prepared to pass the ball around and tease Celta, a skill at which Deco excels. The Portuguese international was able to maintain possession in midfield almost effortlessly before finding the right pass.

Barca waited for the opening to extend their lead and it came after 56 minutes. Andres Iniesta twisted and turned on the edge of the area before slipping the ball through to Eto'o who made no mistake from 15 yards.

Celta were left with a mountain to climb and although they worked hard Barca defended tightly and the visitors were unable to find the goal their work deserved. Instead it was Barca who could have grabbed another with substitute Ludovic Giuly missing a couple of late chances.