Oct 30 2013, 12:36am CDT | by IANS
The result is flattering for the league leaders, whose rivals actually created more chances, but were unable to make them count, while Barca's superior firepower and a dose of luck were decisive in the final score, reported Xinhua.
The side coached by Tata Martinez have now taken 31 points from a possible 33 and lead Atletico and Real, who have still to play their matches in match-day 11, by 5 and 9 points respectively and if Barca at times still seem far off the side which played such fluid football in recent years it is hard to argue with their effectiveness and their ability to adapt game after game.
Barcelona made a lot of changes from the side which defeated Real Madrid at the weekend with Alexis Sanchez, Pedro Rodriguez, Alex Song, Carles Puyol and Marc Bartra coming into the side and players such as Neymar, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, who was celebrating the 11th anniversary of his debut, all rested.
A Celta side coached by former Barca player and B-team coach, Luis Enrique, and featuring former Barca defender Andres Fontas, Nolito and on-loan forward, Rafinha, was always likely to play attacking football rather that looking to defend and that is how the first half turned out.
Neither side was able to control midfield in an end to end game with both sides creating chances and Barca struck first as Alexis scored his sixth goal of the season after Celta keeper Yoel Rodriguez could only parry a Cesc Fabrigas shot after good work from Pedro after just nine minutes.
Yoel did well to save an Alexis header four minutes later, before both sides exchanged chances with Charles and Nolito going close for Celta and Messi firing wide after twisting and turning his way into the area.
Barca lost left back Adriano with a muscle injury, which could be a major problem given that Jordi Alba is out for at least three more weeks and Martin Montoya replaced the Brazilian.
The league leaders sealed the points within the first 10 minutes of the second half: two minutes after halftime a combination between Song and Cesc saw the latter's shot hit the bar before bouncing into the goal off Yoel's back.
Cesc may not be credited with the second goal, but he added the third on 54 minutes with a diagonal shot after being set up by Messi and he almost returned the favour moments afterwards only for Joel to make a smart save from Messi.
Nolito rattled the Barca crossbar with a free kick after 67 minutes, but was taken out of the game moments later as Luis Enrique began to think about next weekend's game away to Sevilla, although his side could have had a consolation goal when Santi Mino's shot was blocked by Montoya with six minutes remaining.
Earlier in the evening Espanyol and Malaga produced a dull 0-0 draw in Cornella el Prat, a result which at least ends Malaga's run of successive defeats.
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