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Iniesta inspires Barca to 2-0 win over Recre

A FIRST-MINUTE strike from Andres Iniesta and a Nasief Morris own goal gave Barcelona a 2-0 win over Recreativo Huelva yesterday, a fifth straight victory that stretches their lead over Real Madrid to nine points.

Leaders Barca move to 75 with eight matches left, with second-placed Real, who host Real Valladolid today, on 66. Sevilla, in third, are nine behind champions Real and play at home to struggling Getafe today.

Barca took the lead inside the first minute when Thierry Henry surged down the left and crossed for Iniesta to sidefoot into the net past stranded Recre goalkeeper Asier Riesgo.

The relegation-threatened visitors did well to keep the Catalans at bay for another hour at the Nou Camp until Iniesta's attempted cross ricocheted into the net off South African defender Morris.

Lionel Messi suffered a rare failure from the penalty spot in the 81st minute when Riesgo saved the Argentine's low effort after Jose Manuel Casado had handled a Daniel Alves cross.

Villarreal, in fourth, nine points adrift of Sevilla, host seventh-placed Malaga later yesterday.


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