Madrid: Barcelona's 3-1 home win over Celta Vigo on Saturday marked the Catalan club's best start to the Spanish league in their 113-year history. Barcelona's ninth win through 10 rounds opened up a provisional 11-point gap over defending champion Real Madrid ahead of their match against Real Zaragoza. Adriano and David Villa scored in the 21st and 26th minutes to give Barcelona a 2-1 advantage by halftime, with Mario Bermejo netting for Celta in the 24th.
Villa played Jordi Alba clear to put the result beyond doubt in the 61st. Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who became a father for the first time on Friday to a baby boy, paraded his Golden Boot trophy for the top scorer in Europe's domestic leagues last season before the game. Celta packed their box and looked to counter-attack against a Barcelona defense still missing injured first-choice center backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique, and striker Iago Aspas had a golden opportunity early but couldn't better Victor Valdes one-on-one.
Barcelona went ahead when Adriano played Pedro Rodriguez wide for the winger to charge forward and cross back to the Brazilian defender who volleyed past goalkeeper Javi Varas. But Celta hit right back as forward Mario Bermejo pushed in a rebound of Alex Lopez's initial strike saved by Valdes, to cap a move triggered by an incisive long pass from Michael Krohn-Dehli. The flurry of goals continued as Villa and Andres Iniesta quickly dampened Celta's euphoria two minutes later. The Spain striker played Iniesta through with a deft back-heeled pass and moved into position to fire in Iniesta's assist.
Messi, usually so deadly when given even half a chance, uncharacteristically failed to get off a shot when he stole the ball and had only Varas to beat just before halftime. Messi was unable to add to his league-leading 13 goals. Aspas again sent shudders through the Camp Nou crowd with a twisting shot from almost no angle 30 second into the second half, but Villa cued Barca's decisive goal with a second exquisite back-heeled flick to send Jordi Alba clear to dribble Varas and roll the ball in. Barcelona's previous best start came in 1997 when they had eight wins and a draw before losing its first match.