Barcelona are continuing to rub salt into Real Madrid’s wounds after they smashed Los Blancos’ record of 34 matches unbeaten with a Lionel Messi-inspired 5-1 win over nine-man Rayo Vallecano.
Goals from Ivan Rakitic, Arda Turan and a Messi hat-trick - you can check out the game’s highlights by scrolling down the page - made it 35 games without loss for Luis Enrique’s side, another highlight in a season that has also included a 4-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Adding to Madrid’s woes is the fact that - barring a miracle - they will watch Barcelona cruise to a second successive La Liga title.
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Leo Beenhakker’s Real Madrid went 34 games unbeaten in 1989 but the numbers show that Luis Enrique’s Barca achieved that mark in a more stunning style.
As per Goal, Beenhakker’s team won 25 and drew nine of their games. They scored 86 goals and conceded 35.
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Meanwhile, Enrique’s side won 28 of their 34 unbeaten, drawing six. They found the net 102 times and allowed only 19.
Now the record belongs solely to Barcelona, who were simply superb in their dismantling of 17th-placed Rayo Vallecano.
Damage done in the first half
The game was effectively over in the space of two first-half minutes. In the 22nd, Vallecano goalkeeper Juan Carlos inexplicably failed to hang on to Sergi Roberto’s looping cross and the ball landed at the feet of Rakitic, who controlled and fired into the net for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Seconds later Lionel Messi got on the score-sheet, as he so often does. The Argentine was allowed to run into space before feeding Neymar on the left.
Vallecano’s defence failed to track Messi’s run and the forward slotted the Brazilian’s return pass into the bottom corner.
The home team were reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute when Diego Llorente was sent off for a foul on Rakitic. Both players went for a loose ball and the defender made contact with it first but followed through and caught the Croatian with his studs raised.
Second half assault
Messi added his second eight minutes after the restart when he turned Luis Suarez’s effort, which rebounded off the post, into the net.
Manucho ensured there would be no clean sheet for Claudio Bravo, however, when he headed home from a yard out in the 57th minute.
Manuel Iturra became the ninth player to be sent off for Vallecano this season when he was shown a straight red card for a cynical challenge on Sergio Busquets inside the box.
Messi passed up the chance to score his hat-trick from the penalty spot - he let Luis Suarez take - but, just like the Uruguayan did a few weeks ago against Sporting Gijon, he missed.
Yet karma was on the Argentine’s side. He scored his 33rd goal of the season when he slotted past Carlos after a perfectly-weighted through ball by Sergio Busquets.
Arda Turan completed the rout late on with his first goal for the club.