Lionel Messi struck twice to help FC Barcelona complete a 4-2 victory at RCD Mallorca for their tenth win in 11 Liga outings.
Xavi Hernández put the visitors ahead after 28 minutes and Messi doubled their advantage close to half-time, notching his 75th goal for club and country in 2012 – equalling the tally reached by Pelé in 1958. Cristian Tello grabbed Barça's third seconds later, and after Michael Pereira and Victor Casadesus reduced the deficit for Mallorca, Messi moved ahead of Pelé's haul with his second of the game. He now lies nine goals shy of Gerd Müller's record from 1972.
Club Atlético de Madrid kept themselves three points behind the leaders by seeing off Getafe CF later in the evening, with Adrián López and Arda Turan grabbing their goals in the first half. Meanwhile, Real Madrid CF remain five points further back after Álvaro Morata headed them to a 2-1 victory at Levante UD. Ángel had cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half volley before the substitute won it with six minutes remaining.
Eighth-placed Real Valladolid CF kept themselves one spot above Valencia CF courtesy of a 1-1 draw at home against Los Che. Víctor Pérez Alonso hit a second-half penalty for the hosts after Aly Cissokho – who scored Valencia's opener – was sent off for impeding Omar Ramos. Also on Sunday, ten-man Athletic Club defeated Sevilla FC 2-1.
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