Barcelona, Spain – Lionel Messi scored his 39th goal, added a pair of assists, and Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 win over Getafe on Tuesday at the Camp Nou to close within one point of La Liga leader Real Madrid.
Messi scored in the 44th minute, set up the first of two Alexis Sanchez goals and a strike from Pedro as Barca won its 10th in a row in league play to keep the pressure on Real Madrid.
Real Madrid has three draws in its last five matches and visits rival Atletico Madrid on Wednesday in the Madrid derby. Real once held a 12-point lead in the standings.
Sanchez opened the scoring for Barcelona after 13 minutes when he collected a Messi pass and drove a shot from outside the area to the upper-right corner.
Messi followed with his own goal before half as he finished a pass from Andres Iniesta with a goal to the top right. Messi increased his edge atop the league scoring list over Real's Cristiano Ronaldo to two goals.
Barca finished off its 24th win with two goals in quick succession, the first from Sanchez off an assist from Isaac Cuenca in the 74th, and the second when Messi set up Pedro for a finish to the top-left corner.
Barcelona will continue its pursuit of Real on Saturday at Levante. Real hosts Sporting Gijon on Saturday. Barca and Real will clash in the next round of La Liga matches on April 21 at the Camp Nou.
Osasuna 2, Espanyol 0
Navarra, Spain - Raul Garcia scored a second-half brace to help Osasuna claim a 2-0 victory over nine-man Espanyol at the Reyno de Navarra on Tuesday.
The on-loan Atletico Madrid striker opened the scoring in the 53rd minute before Philippe Coutinho was sent off a minute later for a second bookable offence. Garcia grabbed a second goal in the 68th minute to seal the win, and Juan Forlin was shown a second yellow card and given his marching orders to add insult to injury for the visitors.
The win snaps a two-game losing skid for Osasuna as the club moves to closer to a spot in fourth place with 46 points on the season. Espanyol is winless in its last five La Liga contests.
Real Sociedad 1, Real Betis 1
San Sebastian, Spain - Fabricio saved a penalty kick and Ruben Castro scored his fourth goal in his last five games as Real Betis tied Real Sociedad, 1-1, at the Anoeta on Tuesday to extend its La Liga unbeaten streak to five games.
Fabricio saved Imanol Agirretxe's penalty in the first half, but Agirretxe set up a goal for Carlos Vela 10 minutes after the break to put Sociedad in front. Vela pulled the goal back 20 minutes from time when he accepted a pass from Jefferson Montero and converted past Sociedad goalie Zubikarai.
Betis moved 11 points clear of the relegation zone and Sociedad climbed 10 off the bottom three with the six clubs below yet to play their midweek matches.