Barca stays top with Celta Vigo defeat

Vigo, Spain ( - Barcelona ensured its position at the top of the La Liga table for another week thanks to a 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo at the Estadio Balaidos on Tuesday.

The opener came just nine minutes into the contest when Lionel Messi's shot was parried into the path of Alexis Sanchez, who pounced on the rebound to convert from close range.

Barcelona made it two just three minutes into the second half when Cesc Fabregas' shot from distance rattled off the crossbar and back into play only to be turned into the net off of Celta Vigo goalkeeper Yoel Rodriguez Oterino, who was credited with the own goal.

The visitors extended their lead and wrapped up the affair six minutes later when Fabregas latched on to a pass from Messi on the left wing and fired a low shot past Oterino at the near post.

Barcelona improves to 31 points to move four points clear of second-place Atletico Madrid ahead of its meeting with Granada on Thursday. Celta Vigo remains fifth from bottom in the Spanish top flight with nine points.

Also on Tuesday, Malaga and Espanyol played to a 0-0 draw at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat, keeping the two sides separated by five points in the table.