La Liga Roundup, Feb. 20

Barcelona strolled to an easy 4-0 victory over Racing Santander on

a night of firsts at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Despite missing several key players through injury and losing

Zlatan Ibrahimovic just before the match, Pep Guardiola’s side

brushed aside a disappointing Racing outfit with ease, on the back

of a fine first-half performance.

Andres Iniesta gave the Catalans the lead with his first goal

of the season following poor defending by Racing after just seven

minutes.

Thierry Henry, handed a rare start by Guardiola after being

frozen out in recent weeks, scored the second goal from a free-kick

with his first of 2010, and Rafael Marquez added a brilliant third

with his first of the campaign from another set-piece 11 minutes

before half-time.

Youngster Thiago Alcantara then added a fourth with his first

career goal in the closing stages.

All of that leaves Barca very much in first as well, with the

onus on Real Madrid to close the gap back to two points when they

host Villarreal on Sunday

Elsewhere, two goals in the first seven minutes were enough

to give Deportivo La Coruna a 2-1 win against Xerez.

It was a first win in four matches for Deportivo in the

Primera Division, but the Galicians endured some nervy moments as

bottom side Xerez threw men forward in search of a late equaliser.

Andres Guardado gave Deportivo the lead from the penalty spot

with just three minutes gone after Vicente Moreno had held back

Diego Colotto.

And the locals looked to be well on their way to an easy

victory when Riki added a second four minutes later.

But Xerez pulled a goal back seven minutes before the break

through Mario Bermejo and Deportivo were forced to hold on in the

end as the Andalusians gave everything in an attempt to secure a

vital point which never materialised.