Barcelona came back from goal down to strike four past Zaragoza and join Valencia at the top of the league.
The Catalan side had the worst possible start with both Silvinho and Gabri forced to leave the field with knee injuries early on. Frank Rijkaard’s rotation policy backfired as Brazilian Silvinho asked to be substituted after just three minutes, handing the left-back berth to Gio. Minutes later Gabri was replaced by Belletti as Barca were forced to change both defenders in the opening ten minutes.
Samuel Eto’o the summer signing from Mallorca compounded the problems by gifting David Villa a goal from a careless back-pass. With much still to do Villa beat two men before drilling the ball past Victor Valdes for the opener.
Eto’o made amends for his mistake with an outstanding equaliser. Driving infield from the left flank he skipped past the Zaragoza defence before curling the ball home with his right foot.
Ronaldinho’s deft touch created another for Eto’o minutes later. The Brazilian brought Puyol’s pass effortlessly under his spell and fired low into the box to present Eto’o with his second of the game.
Xavi celebrated his 250th appearance by crashing the ball into the net off the under side of the bar and Gio scored for the second game in succession to make it four, Ronaldinho again pulling the strings. The Brazilian was unlucky not to make the score sheet himself after embarking on a 50 yard run and rounding the keeper only to be denied by the post.
Valencia lead Barcelona in the league on goals scored after the first four rounds.