Barcelona cruised to another victory in La Liga with a 6-0 thumping of Getafe at the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez each scored a brace, while Neymar and Xavi also added scores to give Barcelona a provisional five-point lead atop the table over second place Real Madrid, who are in action on Wednesday versus Almería.
There was some rotation from manager Luis Enrique in his starting XI, as Claudio Bravo was back in net and protected by a back four of Dani Alves, Marc Bartra, Jeremy Mathieu and Adriano, with center backs Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano plus fullback Dani Alves getting a rest. In midfield Xavi came in for Andres Iniesta and joined Rafinha and Sergio Busquets, while up front it was the usual trio of Messi, Neymar and Suárez.
Barcelona were out of the gates in a hurry and it only took nine minutes for the hosts to leap out ahead. Suarez was brought down in the Getafe area by defender Álvaro Arroyo and a minute later Messi converted the spot kick in Panenka style to make it 1-0.
After a nervy moment from Bravo who nearly allowed Hinestroza to level terms in the 15th minute, Barcelona soon had the match under their control and made it 2-0 in the 26th minute. Messi looped a pass into Suárez in the area and the former Liverpool man did exceptionally well to volley that into the net past Getafe goalkeeper Guaita.
The third would come before the half hour mark, this time with Neymar getting into the act in the 28th minute to extend the lead to 3-0. Suárez fed Neymar on the left and the Brazilian made a few touches before firing a right-footer past Guaita.
Two minutes later Barcelona all but sealed the match when the veteran Xavi added his name to the scoresheet thanks to some combination work with Alves. The legendary midfielder was given far too much space and time outside the area and curled in a shot past Guaita to give Marcelona a 4-0 lead.
Xavi once again showed his class five minutes before the break as he set up Suárez to score Barcelona’s fifth. Messi slipped a ball into Xavi who then exquisitely backheeled it to an unmarked Suárez and the Uruguayan had no trouble sweeping a shot into goal.
The goal was a historic one as well as it gave the trio of Messi, Suárez and Neymar a total of 101 goals scored for the season, surpassing the 100 goal figure put up by Messi, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o during the 2008-09 season.
There was no let up from the home team to start the second half, as it only took two minutes for Messi to find his second goal of the evening. The Argentine chested down a ball on the right, paused to freeze the Getafe defense and then subtlety placed a shot past Guaita and into the net to make it 6-0.
There would be no consolation goal for Getafe as their best chance was denied in the 71st minute when Hinestroza struck the post with an effort. It could have been far worse for the Madrid club if not for a couple heady saves from Guaita late on.
Next up for Luis Enrique’s side is a Saturday visit to Córdoba.