The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Barcelona floor Real 3-0
- Blackburn rally to 3-3 draw in a thriller vs Birmingham

Madrid: Primera Liga leaders Barcelona produced a sparkling display of fluent, attacking football to outclass arch-rivals Real Madrid with a 3-0 win at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Former Real player Samuel Eto'o put Barcelona in front just before the half-hour when he made the most of a defensive mix-up to notch his 10th goal of the season.

Dutch defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst doubled the lead just before the break when he drilled home at the far post and an outstanding Ronaldinho wrapped up a brilliant win from the penalty spot after Eto'o had been brought down in the area.

The win allowed Frank Rijkaard's side to open a seven-point lead over Real at the top of the table after 12 games of the season.

Earlier, last season's champions Valencia finally broke their 10-match winless run after goals from Italian striker Bernardo Corradi and midfielder Xisco gave them a 2-0 win at Malaga.

In England, on Sunday, a thrilling match between Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park ended in a 3-3 draw that left Blackburn still stuck at the bottom of the league.

Matt Jansen put the home side ahead with a well-struck goal after four minutes before Birmingham took control with goals from Darren Anderton (17), Robbie Savage with a volley (38), and David Dunn against his old club on the stroke of halftime.

Blackburn rallied in the second half with Steven Reid lashing the ball home for his first Blackburn goal after 57 minutes and substitute Paul Gallagher forcing the ball over the line for the equaliser just after the hour mark.

On Saturday, Arsenal blew away a chance to leapfrog current leaders Chelsea as they were drew 1-1 against West Bromwich Albion. Robert Pires opened the scoring in the 54th minute, but the Gunners' shaky defence allowed Baggies substitute Robert Earnshaw to grab a late equaliser.

Manchester United rode goals from Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes either side of the interval to beat Charlton Athletic 2-0 and stay in contention for the league.

It was a mixed afternoon for Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, as he welcomed back midfielder Steven Gerrard but saw his team fold 0-2 away to Middlesbrough. Newcastle United boss Graham Souness can breathe a sigh of relief as Patrick Kluivert and Craig Bellamy ensured a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

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