Barcelona, Spain – Lionel Messi continued to torch his La Liga competition on Sunday, scoring four goals as Barcelona raced past Osasuna, 5-1, at the Camp Nou.
The dynamic Argentine, who set a La Liga record by scoring at least one goal in 11 straight matches, got the hosts off to a fantastic start in the 11th minute as he ran onto a perfect through pass from Xavi and tapped it past Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez for his first of many on the day.
Osasuna equalized in the 24th minute on the strength of a fantastic strike from outside the box by Raoul Loe, but the visitors' momentum quickly vanished when Javi Arribas was shown a second yellow card just three minutes later, reducing the traveling side to 10 men.
Following Arribas' sending off, Messi stepped up to take the penalty kick and smashed it into the bottom left corner for the 2-1 advantage.
Pedro got into the scoring mood 10 minutes from the intermission when he fired a low shot into the bottom right corner off a nice feed from Dani Alves, making it 3-1 for Barcelona.
After the break, Messi was at it again in the 56th minute as he snuck through the Osasuna back line courtesy of a nice cutting ball from David Villa and slotted a left-footed strike past Fernandez to complete his hat trick.
Just two minutes later, Messi took a pass from Adriano and put it home with an easy strike from inside the penalty area for his fourth tally of the evening.
With the win, the Catalans extend their lead atop La Liga to 11 points over Atletico Madrid and remain unbeaten at home this season. Osasuna, meanwhile, remains in the drop zone on 18 points, two from safety.
Real Madrid 4, Getafe 0
Madrid, Spain - Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a second-half hat trick on Sunday as Real Madrid posted a convincing 4-0 win over Getafe at the Bernabeu.
After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Sergio Ramos opened the flood gates for Real Madrid in the 53rd when a corner kick fell to his feet and the Spaniard tapped it in from close range.
Ronaldo got his first of the contest nine minutes later when he ran onto a feed from Mesut Ozil and powered a left-footed strike inside the far post for the 2-0 lead.
Just three minutes later, the Portuguese international was at it again with a fantastic header following a cross from Angel Di Maria.
Madrid added a fourth goal 18 minutes from time when Luka Modric was brought down in the box by Getafe's Alberto Lopez, and Ronaldo stepped up to the spot and slotted it into the bottom left corner to complete his hat trick.
The result sees the defending La Liga champions climb to 43 points, just four behind second-place Atletico, while Getafe remains in 11th place with 26 points.
Athletic Bilbao 3, Atletico Madrid 0
Bilbao, Spain - Atletico Madrid failed to keep pace with Barcelona on Sunday, suffering a 3-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames.
After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Bilbao got on the board in the 50th minute when Markel Susaeta served a cross into the box from the corner and Mikel San Jose easily slipped his marker and nodded it into the net from in close for the 1-0 lead.
The hosts extended their lead to 2-0 in the 77th minute as Susaeta fired a right-footed strike into the bottom right corner of the net, and Oscar de Marcos finished it off for Bilbao six minutes from time when he ripped a shot into the top left corner on the half-volley.
Bilbao moves up to 12th place with 25 points, while Atletico, which played without star forward Falcao due to an injury, remains in second place on 47 points.
Malaga 3, Mallorca 2
Mallorca, Spain - Malaga put an end to a three-game winless run in league play on Sunday with a 3-2 victory over Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium.
The visitors got off to a nice start just 10 minutes into the contest when Javier Saviola got on the end of a free kick in the box and slotted it into the bottom right corner for the early advantage.
Malaga made it 2-0 six minutes later as Isco got his left foot to a cross from Nacho Monreal and ripped it past Mallorca goalkeeper Juan Calatayud.
Victor Casadesus pulled one back for the hosts in the 27th minute, but Monreal restored Malaga's two-goal advantage in the 62nd with a terrific strike from outside the penalty area.
Eight minutes later, Giovani Dos Santos pulled Mallorca to within one again and Martin Demichelis was sent off, reducing the visitors to 10 men.
Malaga bunkered down defensively and saw out the result to claim an important three points to jump to fourth place, while Mallorca sits in the relegation places with just 17 points, three from safety.
Rayo Vallecano 3, Real Betis 0
Madrid, Spain - Rayo Vallecano moved up to sixth place in La Liga on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Real Betis at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas.
Vallecano got off to a flying start just three minutes in when Andrija Delibasic was taken down in the penalty area by Adrian. Piti then stepped up to the spot and calmly buried it for the early edge.
Delibasic added to Vallecano's lead four minutes after the hour mark when he got his head on a cross from Jose Casado and powered it into the net for the comfortable two-goal advantage.
Jose Carlos da Silva made it three for the home side eight minutes from time with a rising, left-footed strike into the top portion of the net to seal the result, leaving Betis in fifth place, just one point ahead of Vallecano.