Record-setting Xavi inspires Barca victory

Record-setting Xavi inspires Barca victory

The 31-year-old Spain midfielder, playing his 392nd league match, struck in the 33rd minute at Granada's Los Carmenes stadium to lift the champions above surprise packages Levante and rivals Real Madrid to the top of the standings.

Xavi's mark beat the previous record set by Migueli, a central defender known as "Tarzan" who played for Barca in the 1970s and 80s. Xavi already owned the appearance record for all competitions, which he extended on Tuesday to 591.

Barca, who have not conceded a goal in seven matches in all competitions, have 21 points from nine games. Levante are on 20 from eight while Real have 19 points.

Sevilla stayed fourth on 17 points after they needed a stoppage time equaliser to rescue a 2-2 draw at home to struggling Racing Santander in the late kickoff.

A 37th-minute Manu del Moral header put the Andalusians in front before second-half goals from forward Ariel Nahuelpan and youth team midfielder Jairo Samperio took Santander within sight of their first win of the season.

However, Del Moral rose to nod in a second in the 92nd minute to preserve Sevilla's unbeaten start.

Barca, the European champions, travelled to Granada having slipped from first to third following Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla when Lionel Messi had a stoppage-time penalty saved.

The Argentine, enduring another frustrating night, had a dinked effort cleared off the line on the hour.

The La Liga joint top scorer, level on 10 goals with Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo, has failed to score in five away games in the league for the first time since December 2009.

Granada played most of the second half with 10 men after midfielder Jaime Romero was shown a second yellow card eight minutes after the break for catching Maxwell with a high foot.

The Catalan club's victory was soured by an injury to forward Pedro, who had to be replaced by David Villa 10 minutes into the second half after twisting his left ankle.

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