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Barca increase La Liga advantage

Lionel Messi points to the heavens after helping Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Real Valladolid on Saturday.
Lionel Messi points to the heavens after helping Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Real Valladolid on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona increased their lead at the top of Spain's La Liga to eight points after they strolled to a 3-0 victory over Valladolid.
  • Sevilla ended a run of four straight losses with a 1-0 victory over Almeria which saw them move level on points Real Mallorca in fourth.
  • In Italy's Serie A the pressure continues to build on Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara after the Turin side crashed to a 2-1 home defeat to Roma.
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(CNN) -- Barcelona increased their lead at the top of Spain's La Liga to eight points after they strolled to a 3-0 victory over Valladolid on Saturday.

The result ensured the Catalan giants become only the fifth team to go unbeaten for the whole of the first half of a La Liga season, joining Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol and Real Sociedad on the prestigious list.

Xavi opened the scoring for Barca in the 22nd minute when he volleyed home a Dani Alves cross from inside the penalty area.

Alves doubled the lead two minutes later when his cross-shot floated into the top corner of the net before the ever-dangerous Lionel Messi provide the Coup De Grace in the 54th minute.

The Argentina playmaker rounded off a fine team with a clinical finish after he had latched on to a clever lay-off from forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Elsewhere, Sevilla ended a run of four straight losses with a 1-0 victory over Almeria on a rain sodden pitch which saw them move level on points Real Mallorca in fourth.

Alvaro Negredo scored only goal of the game when he raced on to a backpass from Almeria's Wilmer Acasiete which had become stuck in the mud before striking the ball home.

In Italy's Serie A the pressure continues to build on Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara after the Turin side crashed to a 2-1 home defeat to Roma.

Alessandro Del Piero had given Juve the lead in the 51st minute with a left-football volley after good work by Brazilian Diego on the edge of the penalty area.

Francesco Totti levelled for Claudio Ranieri's side in the 68th minute from the penalty spot after John Arne Riise was brought down by Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who was shown a red card for the foul.

Both sides seemed to have settled for a point but Roma defender Riise struck in the third minute of injury time when he connected with a David Pizarro cross at the back post.

Meanwhile, Catania boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 3-0 win over Parma thanks to goals from Giuseppe Mascara, Jorge Martinez and Takayuki Morimoto.