Lionel Messi struck twice for the fourth game running as FC Barcelona defeated Levante UD to maintain their three-point Liga lead over Club Atlético de Madrid, who matched the Catalan club's 4-0 scoreline against Sevilla FC.
Levante held the visitors at half-time, but an Andrés Iniesta masterclass in the second period helped Barça to power away. The midfielder set up Messi for his 18th and 19th goals of the Liga season, before drilling in off the crossbar and laying on for Cesc Fàbregas to tap in the fourth as the Azulgrana maintained their unbeaten record.
Atlético kept pace with a resounding win at home to Sevilla, who ended the match with nine men. Federico Fazio was dismissed after bringing down Koke in the area on 20 minutes, and that allowed Falcao to open the scoring from the spot. An Emir Spahić own goal and Koke volley then stretched the lead before the break, with Ivan Rakitić being shown a second yellow before Miranda tapped in the fourth.
Pedro León and Mané hit the target as Getafe CF defeated bottom-of-the-table RCD Espanyol 2-0 to move seventh, while Abel Aguilar's second-half effort earned a 1-1 draw for RC Deportivo La Coruña at Athletic Club.
© 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.