Eurozone: Keita powers Barça to win as frustrated Real are held

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The Independent Football

Pep Guardiola had high praise for midfielder Seydou Keita after the 31-year-old's influential performance helped Barcelona beat Mallorca 3-0 in La Liga on Saturday.

"We won the game thanks to Keita," said the Barcelona manager. "He is a strong midfielder and we need him a lot. I'm happy for him." Keita helped set Barça on their way in the 38th minute when his audacious lobbed-pass found Lionel Messi, who adeptly controlled the ball before heading it over Dudu Aouate, Mallorca's goalkeeper, and into the net. David Villa then rounded Aouate to score, before Pedro found the net with a deflected strike to strengthen Barça's lead at the top of the table.

After Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw with Deportivo La Coruna, their coach Jose Mourinho launched a tirade against his opponents' tactics and the fixture planners. "We played against one goalkeeper and 10 defenders for the second half. Only one team played to win," said Mourinho, before the Portuguese moved on to criticising the authorities. "It is not normal that after a European game we are made to play on Saturday. They [the authorities] do what they want and that's that. They just sit back and laugh at me," he added.

In Serie A, leaders Milan can move six points clear if they defeat second-placed Napoli at San Siro this evening. Yesterday, Udinese swept Palermo aside 7-0, Antonio Di Natale scoring a hat-trick and Alexis Sanchez striking four goals.

Roma, meanwhile, drew 2-2 with Parma. Juan and Francesco Totti scored Roma's goals, which were both cancelled by Amauri. Catania won 2-1 against Genoa, with Maxi Lopez and Gonzalo Bergessio finding the net for Catania after Antonio Floro Flores had put Genoa in front.

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