- Associated Press - Sunday, December 12, 2010

MADRID (AP) - Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half, raising his season total to 27 goals in 22 games, and Barcelona routed Real Sociedad 5-0 Sunday night to extend its winning streak to nine.

Since Nilmar’s tying goal for Villarreal in Barcelona’s 3-1 win on Nov. 13, the Blaugrana have outscored opponents 28-0 en route to seven wins. Barcelona is unbeaten in its last 21 games.

With 17 league goals, Messi tied for the Spanish lead with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored on a free kick in a 3-1 win at Zaragoza.

David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Bojan Krkic also scored for Barcelona (13-1-1), which leads with 40 points, two more than second-place Real Madrid (12-1-2).

Messi threaded the ball to Pedro Rodriguez in the ninth minute, and Villa was alone to redirect the centering pass into the roof of goal for his ninth this season.

Iniesta charged into the area in the 33rd, laying off to Pedro who returned it for Iniesta to beat Claudio Bravo with a low shot inside the near post while never breaking stride.

Messi scored in the 47th, exchanging passes with Daniel Alves three times before slotting home. Messi hit a post in the 78th, then ran past four defenders inside the area before firing a left-footed shot past Bravo in the 87th. Bojan in injury time.

“It may look easy but it’s not,” Messi told Canal Plus TV. “The truth is that things are working out and we’re playing at such a high level.”

At Zaragoza, Mesut Oezil and Angel Di Maria also scored for Real Madrid.


LONDON (AP) _ American midfielder Stuart Holden scored his second goal of the season in the 88th minute to help Bolton overcome its fourth red card of the season and beat Blackburn 2-1.

Blackburn’s Mame Biram Diouf had just equalized, but Holden burst forward following the resulting kickoff to run onto a flick by Kevin Davies and half-volley past goalkeeper Paul Robinson from just outside the area. Bolton moved into sixth place and 26 points, just six behind Arsenal.

Didier Drogba came off the bench to lift Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Tottenham, although the striker wasted a chance to clinch his team’s first Premier League win in a month when he missed an injury-time penalty kick.

Roman Pavlyuchenko put the home team ahead in the 15th minute, but Drogba, who entered at halftime, equalized midway through the second half when he smashed a shot that goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes fumbled over the line.

Gomes made a comfortable save on Drogba’s penalty kick in the second minute of added time, stretching Chelsea’s run without a win to five league matches.

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