BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Pedro Rodriguez ensured Barcelona didn't miss the injured Lionel Messi, scoring three goals in 10 minutes before setting up Cesc Fabregas twice in a 5-2 comeback victory at Getafe on Sunday.
The entertaining victory ensured the defending Spanish champions remained tied with Atletico Madrid. Also Sunday, Real Madrid needed a late goal by substitute Jese Rodriguez to beat Valencia 3-2 and stay in third place, five points behind its title rivals.
With Barcelona's strike-duo Messi and Neymar unavailable, Getafe surged forward from the start and stunned the visitors' shaky defense with two goals in 15 minutes.
But Pedro led the comeback by scoring in the 34th, 41st and 43rd minutes to swing the match in Barcelona's favor before halftime.
Pedro crossed for Fabregas to score his first goal in the 68th before Pedro earned a penalty in the 72nd that Fabregas converted to secure the result.
Pedro's second hattrick of the season made him Barcelona's leading scorer in the league with 10 goals, tied for fourth best overall.
Barcelona was without the injured Messi, Xavi Hernandez, and Victor Valdes, while Neymar was suspended.