Lionel Messi broke one record and moved closer towards another as Barcelona defeated Rayo Vallecano with ease. Real Madrid won 3-0 at Getafe and Atletico Madrid beat Real Valladolid by the same score as the three title contenders remain separated only by goal difference.
Lionel Messi rewrote the record books as Barcelona completed a 6-0 demolition of Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou. The 26-year-old Argentine scored twice to surpass Telmo Zarra as the player with most goals for a single Spanish club, his double taking his Barca tally to 337 in all competitions. Adriano opened the floodgates in just the second minute on Saturday and further goals from Alexis Sanchez, Pedro Rodriguez and Neymar with a superb strike from distance added to Messi’s double to seal a comfortable win for the Catalans.
Messi also became the third highest all-time scorer in La Liga, moving above Alfredo Di Stefano in the record books and level with another Real Madrid legend, Raul, on 228 La Liga goals. Messi needs just 24 more to overhaul outright record of 251 by former Athletic Bilbao striker Zarra in the 1940s and 1950s. Hugo Sanchez is second on the list with 234 goals.
Atletico Madrid issued a reminder of their title aspirations with a commanding 3-0 home win over lowly Real Valladolid, ending a three-game losing streak. Atletico’s confidence had been rocked by a 5-0 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-finals and a shock 2-0 reverse at Almeria last weekend, which knocked them off the top of La Liga.
Two goals in the opening four minutes from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa saw Diego Simeone’s men off to a flying start and Diego Godin added a third in the second half to seal a morale-boosting victory for Atleti. The best opportunities for the visitors fell to Javi Guerra early in the second period, and Manucho in injury time, but neither player was able to hit the target.
Real Madrid kept up the pace up with Barca and Atleti by easing to a 3-0 victory at Getafe, thanks to goals from by Jese Rodriguez, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric. With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended, the pressure was on Carlo Ancelotti’s side to pick up the three points at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, a stadium they had lost at last season, but Jese settled any nerves they might have had with an early goal. Benzema doubled their advantage on 27 minutes and midway through the second half Luka Modric got the goal his recent form had merited. The defeat plunged Getafe into the relegation mix, four points clear of the danger zone.
Athletic Bilbao saw their unbeaten league record at the new San Mames come to an end as Espanyol claimed a deserved 2-1 win. Goals from Sergio Garcia and Diego Colotto ensured Los Periquitos completed a notable double, having beaten Athletic in September’s reverse fixture, and also achieving back-to-back league wins after last week’s win over Granada. Carlos Gurpegi hit Athletic’s reply early in the second period the hosts were unable to up their game and Colotto duly made them pay with the winner after 65 minutes. Aritz Aduriz was sent off late on to wrap up a miserable night for Ernesto Valverde’s men.