La Liga news

Iniesta exhales after Barca dodges Depor

October 21, 2012
By ESPN.com news services

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta admitted he was relieved his side were able to claim all three points in a thrilling 5-4 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday night.

Iniesta We could have killed the game off in the first half, but Depor are dangerous and they caused us a lot of problems in defense.

-- Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta

Lionel Messi once again grabbed the headlines with a stunning hat trick but that only told half the story on a night of sensational drama at the Riazor.

It seemed the Catalan club was on its way to a thumping win after Jordi Alba, Cristian Tello and Messi all struck within the first 18 minutes but Depor replied with a Luis Pizzi penalty and an Alex Bergantinosn strike.

"We're leaving with the sensation that we won a very difficult match," Iniesta told the club's official website. "We have to learn a lot of things from this match."

Messi struck his second and third in between Pizzi's second of the match and the dismissal of Javier Mascherano, while an own goal from Alba left the visitors hanging on for dear life.

That they managed to hold on to claim a 5-4 triumph was of great satisfaction to Iniesta, who is aware they need to continue to improve.

"We could have killed the game off in the first half, but Depor are dangerous and they caused us a lot of problems in defense," the star midfielder said.

Alba agreed with his teammate's assertions and hailed Depor for its resolve.

"It was a very hard-fought victory, but it was very important," said the former Valencia left back. "The important thing is that we won the game and that we're returning with the three points.

"At 2-3, the game was fairly even and it ended up being a crazy game. The team played an excellent match but we conceded four goals."

Messi continues to light up the Primera Division and his hat trick took his tally for 2012 to 59 goals -- surpassing his previous record of two years ago.

"Statistics are only numbers," said the Argentinian. "I'm only concerned with winning the three points whenever possible."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.