Madrid, Oct 21 (IANS) FC Barcelona maintained their eight point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish Primera Liga table thanks to a thrilling 5-4 win away to Deportivo la Coruna.
Barca were 3-0 up after just 17 minutes courtesy goals from Jordi Alba, Christian Tello and Lionel Messi, reports Xinhua.
Pizzi pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after a dreadful refereeing decision. Bergantinos brought Deportivo right back into things with a low shot that Barca keeper Victor Valdes failed to deal with after 37 minutes.
Messi scored his second of the night to make it 4-2 two minutes from the break after a fine Cesc Fabregas pass.
Pizzi made it 4-3 with a free kick three minutes into the second half and Barca then found themselves down to 10 men as Riki exaggerated an accidental contact with Javier Mascherano to earn the defender a second booking.
Messi then hit the bar, before Vilanova brought on Xavi Hernandez, Adriano and Pedro Rodriguez in an attempt to control the chaotic game better and was rewarded when Messi scored his hat-trick with a fine solo goal.
Again Barca's two-goal lead was short lived as Alba scored a bizarre own goal with 11 minutes remaining to make it 5-4.
Deportivo hurled everything forward but Barca were able to hold on, although it is clear they will have to improve in defence if they want to remain top of the table for long.
Updated Date: Oct 21, 2012 20:16:16 IST