FC Barcelona sent out an ominous message ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 by dispatching Getafe CF 6-1 at Camp Nou to open up a 12-point lead at the Liga summit.
The contest was just six minutes old when Andrés Iniesta's visionary pass found Alexis Sánchez, who slotted in his first league goal of the season. The Spanish schemer was pulling the strings seven minutes later, his delicate touch freeing midfielder Thiago Alcántara, who allowed Lionel Messi to make it two.
The home side refused to relent after the restart as David Villa rounded off another move, before a trademark run by Messi 11 minutes from time resulted in Christian Tello arrowing a shot inside the far post. Álvaro Vázquez's consolation did little to stem the Barcelona flow and they promptly made it five courtesy of Iniesta. Gerard Piqué completed the scoring with a close-range finish.
Second-placed Club Atlético de Madrid were unable to respond in the evening game, as they fell 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano de Madrid. Alhassane Bangoura and Leonardo Carrilho Baptistao did the damage for the hosts in the first half, leaving Diego Simeone's side winless in five away from home in the league. Elsewhere, Athletic Club were humbled 4-0 at home to RCD Espanyol, who made it four wins from five Liga outings, while Real Sociedad de Fútbol climbed up to seventh with a 2-1 success at ten-man Real Zaragoza.
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