Lionel Messi scored one goal and figured in four more to keep Barcelona on course to retaining their Spanish league title with a 6-0 rout of Getafe, increasing their domestic record to 37 games without a loss.
The only blemish to Messi’s superb showing was a missed penalty in the first half. Otherwise, the Argentina forward led a dominant performance that does not bode well for Arsenal’s chances to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Barcelona never looked back after an own goal by Getafe’s Juan Rodríguez. Messi then made up for his missed spot-kick by scoring to make it 4-0 before half-time while also assisting Neymar for two goals and Munir El Haddadi on another.
Barcelona enjoyed their 12th consecutive league win without Luis Suárez, kept on the bench by coach Luis Enrique before Wednesday’s match. What little fight Getafe had at the start was sucked right out of the struggling side in the eighth minute when Messi played Jordi Alba wide, and his return pass intended for Messi was turned into Getafe’s goal by Rodríguez.
Not even goalkeeper Vicente Guaita blocking Messi’s spot-kick three minutes later after Neymar was fouled by Emiliano Velázquez revived the visitors. Andrés Iniesta’s playmaking kept the action entirely in Getafe’s half, and Messi’s apparently off-target shot from Iniesta’s pass became a perfect cross for El Haddadi to head home in the 19th minute. “We didn’t have a chance,” said Getafe coach Fran Escribá. “The game was lost from 2-0.”
Guaita did well to push Gerard Piqué’s effort from another Iniesta pass off his bar, but he could do nothing to stop Neymar’s curling strike when Messi played him clear with a pass in the 32nd minute. Messi then grabbed his 22nd league goal of the season when he was given time outside the top of the box and struck a left-footed shot beyond the reach of Guaita four minutes before the break.
Messi picked up where he had left off after the restart with a pass for Neymar to beat Guaita again in the 51st minute, the Brazilian’s 20th league goal of the campaign. Arda Turan got the hosts’ sixth with a bicycle kick from close range after a corner in the 57th minute.
Barcelona lead Atlético Madrid, who were playing Deportivo on Saturday night, by 11 points at the top of La Liga.
Third-placed Real Madrid now trail Barcelona by 15 points and visit Las Palmas on Sunday.