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Barcelona open 2009 with fine home victory

  • Story Highlights
  • Barcelona stretch lead in Spanish Primera with 3-1 home win over Real Mallorca
  • Aritz Aduriz gives Mallorca an early lead in Camp Nou with a superb solo effort
  • Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta and Yaya Toure on target for Barcelona
  • Valencia go second after 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid in Mestalla
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(CNN) -- Barcelona continued their charge towards the Spanish Primera title by opening 2009 with a 3-1 home win over Real Mallorca on Saturday night.

Iniesta (left) celebrates his important goal for Barcelona as Lux protests.

Iniesta (left) celebrates his important goal for Barcelona as Lux protests.

The Catalan giants had to come from behind before securing a victory which leaves them 11 points clear of second-placed Valencia with 44 points from 17 games, including a solitary defeat.

Reigning champions Real Madrid trail their arch-rivals by 15 points ahead of their 17th round match on Sunday at home to Villarreal, who are on the same points tally in sixth place.

Valencia moved above Sevlla into second place with a 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in Saturday's late kick off in the Mestalla.

Valencia took a two-goal lead through a David Villa penalty and David Silva before Diego Forlan pulled one back from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time.

But Silva added his second in the 69th minute to secure the three points and leave Atletico in fourth spot in the standings.

Earler, Barcelona were given an early shock as league action returned to the Camp Nou after a two-week seasonal break.

Aritz Aduriz won possession near the halfway line and outpaced the home defense before chipping goalkeeper Victor Valdes for a sublime 15th minute opener.

Eidur Gudjohnson clipped the crossbar with a fierce shot as Barcelona pressed for an equalizer which eventually came just after the half hour mark as Thierry Henry picked up a loose ball from a corner.

The French international turned the ball home at the far post for his 11th of the season and ninth in the league.

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Andres Iniesta, who was returning after sustaining a serious leg injury in November, scored the second goal after coming on as a substitute for Alexandre Hleb.

He converted a low cross from Gudjohnsen in the 76th minute and Mallorca's hopes were further dented in the 90th as Jose Miguel Gonzalez was sent off for a second yellow card.

Yaya Toure then rounded off the Barca scoring in injury time as he jinked his way past several defenders before scoring smartly.

Lionel Messi sat out the match after arriving home late from Argentina, watching from the VIP area with his international manager Diego Maradona, a former Barcelona player.

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