Barcelona hit Getafe for six
MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Barcelona's Lionel Messi shoots the ball next to Getafe's Lopo Garcia during their Spanish First division soccer league match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, February 10, 2013. REUTERS photoBarcelona extended their advantage at the top of La Liga to 12 points with an easy 6-1 win over Getafe on Sunday.
The game was over as a contest inside 13 minutes as Alexis Sanchez slotted home from Andres Iniesta's through ball before Lionel Messi fired in his 46th goal of the season.
David Villa and Cristian Tello then added further goals after half-time before Alvaro Vasquez pulled one back for the visitors with a calm finish.
However, Barca continued to pour forward and goals from Iniesta and Gerard Pique in stoppage time gave the scoreline a fairer reflection of their dominance.
In the continued absence of Tito Vilanova through illness, Barca assistant boss Jordi Roura made six changes to the side that started last weekend's 1-1 draw with Valencia.
Out went the injured Xavi along with Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro as Alex Song, Thiago Alcantara, Alexis Sanchez and David Villa were given rare starts.
And it was Sanchez who made the breakthrough after just five minutes as a wonderful defence splitting pass from Iniesta put the Chilean through on goal and he slotted the ball past Jordi Codina to register his first league goal of the season.
Seven minutes later it was two as another magnificent pass from Iniesta was knocked into Messi's path by Thiago and the Argentine found the bottom corner to continue his record streak of scoring in 13 straight league games.
The waves of Barcelona attack continued to pound the Getafe defence and Codina did well to block Sanchez's effort from a narrow angle before Messi nearly connected with Villa's fine cross.
Adrian Colunga temporarily interrupted the one way traffic with an effort that floated over the bar, but Barca were soon back on the front foot and Messi should have had his second of the afternoon when he turned Sanchez's pin-point cross onto the post.
Villa was next to threaten as he swept Jordi Alba's cross wide and Messi also headed just over before the break.
The Catalans continued to create chances at will after the interval and only a brave goal line block by Alexis stopped Messi converting after he had rounded Codina.
A third goal seemed inevitable though and it duly arrived as Alba slide a nice ball down the side of the defence and Villa finished low into the far corner.
Roura then replaced Sanchez with Tello and the substitute scored with his first major involvement as he received Messi's pass on the edge of the box and curled the ball perfectly into Codina's left-hand corner.
There was to be some consolation for Getafe seven minutes from time as Alvaro latched onto a slack header from Alba to prod past the on-rushing Victor Valdes.
However, there was also more pain to come for the Madrid side as Iniesta side-footed home the hosts' fifth in the first minute of stoppage time before Pique rounded off the scoring with a tap-in from Thiago's pass.