Leo Messi was again on target against Racing de Santander tonight, scoring both goals as the team extended its winning run to six games with a 0-2 win.
A goal in each half from the Argentinean was enough to give Barça the points and their sixth win on the run in a game they dominated from the off. Barça controlled possession and showed clinical finishing up front with Leo Messi adding to his five goals in midweek with two more that take him even closer to the Club's all time leading scorer Cesar, who he now trails by just five goals.
The win leaves Barça 10 points off the leader going into a week where they have no game until next Saturday's trip to the Sanchez Pizjuan to face Seville.
Guardiola showed his attacking intentions with his team selection, lining up with a three man defence made up of Alves, Mascherano and the fit again Puyol, and with Racing sitting deep and hoping to hold out for a goalless draw, Barça were soon in charge, commanding possession and controlling the game. It looked to be simply a matter of when rather than if the first goal would come.
Pedro had the first good chance, with a drive that just shaved the post before Iniesta rattled the woodwork and Cesc was only denied by the busy Mario in the Racing goal. The resistance could only last so long though, and when Xavi set up Cesc on the right, his pinpoint cross gave Messi a simple tap in to open the scoring.
Racing now went even further back into their shell, which simply allowed Barça more time on the ball to find a way through the hosts' packed defence and when Cisma brought down Cesc in the box after the break, Messi made no mistake from the spot for his 50th goal of the season.
With the game done and dusted, Guardiola rang the changes and gave Tello, Keita and Adriano a run out, with Cuenca, Xavi and Pedro coming off. (via FCBarcelona.com)
Racing de Santander: Mario Fernández; Francis, Álvaro, Bernardo, Cisma; Colsa (Adrián, min 62), Gullón; Arana, Diop, Munitis (Jairo, min 70); and Babacar (Stuani, min 46).
FC Barcelona Valdés: Alves, Mascherano, Puyol; Busquets, Xavi (Keita, min 83), Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas; Cuenca (Tello, min 73), Messi and Pedro (Adriano, min 87).
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (committee Madrid). showed yellow cards To Francis, Babacar, Cisma, Diop, Stuani and Álvaro for Racing.
Goal: 0-1, 29 min. Messi. 0-2, 56 min. Messi penalty.
Subs: Party of the 27 th day of the First Division League, played in the Fields de Sport in El Sardinero before 18,885 spectators. Before the match observed a minute of silence in memory of former player Cantabrian Racing and Real Madrid Marcos Alonso Imaz, 'Marquitos', for whose death the players wore black armbands Racing.