Published December 24, 2016
Lionel Messi scored twice, passing Alfredo Di Stefano on the La Liga career scoring list and tying Raul Gonzalez for third as he led Barcelona over Rayo Vallecano 6-0 on Saturday night.
Messi's 228 league goals are one more than di Stefano, and the 26-year-old trails only Telmo Zarra (251) and Hugo Sanchez (234). His sixth two-goal game this season raised his goals total to 24, including 13 in the league.
Adriano put Barcelona ahead in the second minute, Messi scored on a chip in the 36th and assisted Alexis Sanchez's goal in the 53rd. Pedro Rodriguez scored three minutes later and Messi got his second goal in the 68th. Neymar entered in the 62nd in his first appearance since an ankle injury on Jan. 12 and scored in the 89th.
Barcelona (19-2-3) leads the league on goal difference over Atletico Madrid (19-2-3), which ended a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 home win over Valladolid. Raul Garcia scored and set up Diego Costa's 21st league goal of the season. Real Madrid (18-2-3) plays at Getafe on Sunday.
A smoke bomb with effects similar to tear gas was thrown onto the field of El Madrigal Stadium and forced the game between host Villarreal and Celta Vigo to be temporarily stopped in the 87th minute. Fans streamed to exits and players asked for water as it apparently irritated eyesight. A public announcer asked the spectators to evacuate. The game was restarted after around a 20-minute wait for the smoke to clear, and Celta scored its second goal in a 2-0 win.