Barcelona take on Sporting Gijon live on Sky Sports on Wednesday evening, knowing a win will take them six points clear at the top of La Liga. The match (kick-off 5.30pm GMT) represents the Catalan sides game in hand on title rivals Atletico and Real Madrid and they will hope to extend their excellent run of form that has seen them win 12 and draw two of their 14 games since returning to action after the winter break.Meanwhile, Gijon are unbeaten in their last three, including a 1-0 win away at Valencia, but still find themselves in the midst of a relegation battle, just two points above the drop zone. They drew their most recent game 2-2 with Rayo Vallecano on Saturday having led twice while Barca were in scintillating form as they thrashed Celta Vigo 6-1 on Sunday.Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick in the match but it is the nature of his third goal that made the headlines as he slotted in after Lionel Messi had passed a penalty to him. Lionel Messi scored a wonderful free-kick to put Barcelona ahead against Celta Vigo on Sunday The goal has divided opinion, with some labelling it genius and others believing it was disrespectful to their opponents. However, Barcelona boss Luis Enrique defended his players.There will be those who like it and those who dont, he told reporters. As well as winning titles, here we try to entertain people and win in a spectacular and sporting manner. Suarez celebrates his hat-trick goal against Celta Vigo with Messi You can take a penalty like that, its legal and theres a Cruyff penalty we all know.Wednesdays game may take on added significance for Enrique, it will be his first as a manager against Gijon, the club with whom he started his playing career.Watch Sporting Gijon v Barcelona live on Sky Sports 2 HD from 5.25pm on Wednesday. Or watch for £6.99 without a contract, on NOW TV Matt Murray Jersey
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. -- Mike Smith never saw his first NHL goal go in. EAST LANSING, Mich. -- It had been nearly two months since Michigan State won a game, so coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartans were happy to celebrate this victory.Even if this was merely a matchup to see who could climb out of last place.Tyler OConnor threw three touchdown passes in the first half, and Michigan State snapped its seven-game losing streak with a 49-0 rout of Rutgers on Saturday in what was a matchup of the last two teams in the Big Ten without a conference win.We sort of climbed out under a rock a little bit, Dantonio said. Youd have thought we won the championship in that locker room. Its been a long time.Now Rutgers (2-8, 0-7) is alone at the bottom of the league after the Spartans (3-7, 1-6) raced out to a 35-0 halftime lead. LJ Scott ran for 103 of his 122 yards in the first half, and Demetrious Cox returned an interception for a touchdown.Rutgers never made it farther than the Michigan State 27-yard line -- and on that drive in the second quarter, the Scarlet Knights ended up punting from the 30. The Spartans drove 92 yards the other way and took a 28-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from OConnor to Josiah Price.Price caught two touchdown passes, including a 2-yarder that opened the scoring in the first quarter. Cox made it 14-0 with a 30-yard interception return, and OConnor added a 50-yard touchdown pass to Trishton Jackson later in the first.We got dominated from the start to the finish up front on both sides of the ball, Rutgers coach Chris Ash said.THE TAKEAWAYRutgers: This was a matchup of two teams at the bottom of the Big Ten, but it didnt look like they were on the same level. This was an obvious setback for the Scarlet Knights, who had been more competitive lately in losses to Minnesota and Indiana.Michigan State: Theres nothing the Spartans can do now to make up for the horrendous losing streak that derailed theiir season, but this was about as emphatic as a victory can get.dddddddddddd Michigan State outgained Rutgers 440-149 -- and did it without injured defensive lineman Malik McDowell .LOYALThere were plenty of empty seats at kickoff, but the turnout ended up being fairly good considering the circumstances. Attendance was announced at 73,701, and both Dantonio and OConnor made a point of expressing their appreciation afterward.The fans that supported us today -- it was awesome to still see that many people pack Spartan Stadium, OConnor said. Were playing for people like that.BOTH WAYSMichigan State freshman Donnie Corley had two catches for 18 yards and also played some on defense. He made two tackles.STRANGE PENALTYMichigan State had a chance to substitute liberally late in the game, and that led to an unusual call in the second half. Running back Delton Williams and wide receiver Paul Andrie were in the game at the same time, but they both wear No. 22.The Spartans were penalized 5 yards.EXTRACURRICULARSAsh said he was disappointed that his team lost focus at times. Quarterback Giovanni Rescigno elaborated.Some of the guys were jawing with their guys, Rescigno said. Coach talks to us all the time about, youve got to stay focused, stay focused on the task at hand and in what were doing.UP NEXTRutgers: The Scarlet Knights return home to face Penn State next weekend, and theyll be heavy underdogs again.Michigan State: The Spartans host No. 6 Ohio State. The Buckeyes will be out to avenge an upset loss to Michigan State last year that kept Ohio State out of the national title hunt.---For more college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org
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