Messi and Villa lead Barca to Rayo win but Atletico Madrid beat Osasuna to keep up



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Posted Monday, March 18, 2013 by Dailymail

Lionel Messi and David Villa combined to devastating effect to see off Rayo Vallecano 3-1 and help Barcelona restore their 13-point lead at the top of La Liga tonight.

Rayo could not handle the partnership which accounted for all three goals - Villa opening the scoring before Messi netted twice to extend his stunning goalscoring record to 18 successive league matches.

The visitors remain in mid-table but can feel satisfied with an enterprising display which saw them create numerous chances before Raul Tamudo grabbed a late consolation.

Messi and Villa lead Barca to Rayo win but Atletico Madrid beat Osasuna to keep up
Truly outstanding: Lionel Messi was again key in yet another Barcelona victory

Atletico Madrid bounced back from last week's home defeat to Real Sociedad - a result which ended their 100 per cent league record at the Vicente Calderon this season - with a 2-0 win at Osasuna.

Diego Costa netted both goals, scoring in the 35th and 48th minutes, as Atletico remained a point behind second-placed Real Madrid.

Malaga, meanwhile, dropped out of the top four for the first time in seven weeks after surprisingly losing 2-0 home to Espanyol.

Messi and Villa lead Barca to Rayo win but Atletico Madrid beat Osasuna to keep up
Devastating: David Villa's return to Barca's line up has been pivotal

Second-half goals by Diego Colotto and Sergio Garcia gave the visitors a smash-and-grab victory at La Rosaleda as Malaga, who have progressed through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, saw their winless run in La Liga stretch to four games.

Sevilla kept their faint hopes of achieving a Europa League place alive with a 4-0 victory over Real Zaragoza, the goals coming from Coke (two), Jose Antonio Reyes and Alvaro Negredo, while Granada drew 1-1 with Levante.

Granada took a 32nd-minute lead through Guilherme Siqueira's penalty but Robert Acquafresca equalised for Levante just five minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute.



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