Barcelona batters Getafe

Barcelona's march toward another La Liga title met little resistance on Sunday at the Camp Nou as the Catalans hammered Getafe, 6-1.

Barca dominated the contest from the start and took a two-goal lead inside of 15 minutes as Alexis Sanchez notched his first goal of the campaign following a nice set up from Andres Iniesta.

Lionel Messi doubled the advantage with a goal in his 13th successive league contest, and the home side added to its lead after halftime.

Jordi Alba played provider from the wing when his low ball was turned home by David Villa, while substitute Cristian Tello made it 4-0 when he swept home Messi's pass.

Alvaro Vasquez spoiled the clean sheet for Barca in the 83rd minute, but goals from Iniesta and Gerard Pique added time only piled on more misery for the visitors.

Barca now sits 12 points clear at the top of La Liga after Atletico Madrid's 2-1 defeat at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Rayo Vallecano 2, Atletico Madrid 1

Madrid, Spain - Atletico Madrid fell 12 points back of leaders Barcelona on Sunday after sustaining a 2-1 defeat Rayo Vallecano.

Atletico entered the weekend nine points adrift of Barca, but after the Catalans hammered Getafe, 6-1, earlier in the day, Atletico failed to keep pace.

Vallecano started quickly and went in front inside of three minutes through Lass, who scored from the middle of the penalty area after being picked out by Piti.

Lass turned provider 30 minutes later to help double Vallecano's lead when his cross found Leo inside the six-yard box and he made no mistake with the close- range finish.

The only reply from Atletico came deep into second-half stoppage time as Radamel Falcao scored his 20th goal of the campaign, but it was of little consequence to Rayo, which won for the sixth time in eight games.

Real Sociedad 2, Real Zaragoza 1

Aragon, Spain - Real Sociedad stretched its unbeaten streak to five games on Sunday with first-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Imanol Agirretxe in a 2-1 victory at Real Zaragoza.

Sociedad is very much in the mix for a Europa League place with the win, while Zaragoza has claimed just two points from its last six matches and resides only four points above the drop zone.

Carlos Vela set up the opener after 11 minutes when he broke through the middle of the defense and played a ball into the path of Griezmann, who stayed onside and slotted home his fourth goal of the season.

Zaragoza defender Hector received his second yellow card just 22 minutes into the contest for a foul on Vela, and Agirretxe made the home side pay 10 minutes later when he scored from just inside the area.

The only consolation for Zaragoza came in stoppage time when Apono scored from the penalty spot, but it was too late to cause any difficulty for Sociedad.

Espanyol 4, Athletic Bilbao 0

Bilbao, Spain - Espanyol continued its move away from the relegation zone on Sunday with a comfortable 4-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, which fell to 15th place with the defeat.

The visitors have now earned 13 of a possible 15 points from their last five matches to climb eight points above the drop zone, while Bilbao sits six points clear of the bottom three.

Hector Moreno tallied the only goal of the first half in the 28th minute, but Espanyol pulled away after the break with a surge of three goals in 18 minutes.

Victor Sanchez doubled the lead in the 57th minute for the visitors, and Christian Stuani made it 3-0 only one minute later.

Verdu then capped the scoring 15 minutes from time when his penalty kick was saved by goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz, who watched Verdu smash home the rebound.