After losing 3-2 at home to Valencia last week, snapping a 25-game unbeaten streak at the Camp Nou, Barcelona looked to respond with a win over relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano.
La Liga's top spot is currently decided by goal difference, and as Real Madrid are beginning to rack up the goals, Barcelona needed to score. A lot.
They did just that. Barcelona took the lead just two minutes into the match, with Adriano cutting into the middle and firing a shot past the helpless Martinez.
La Blaugrana knew of Messi's opportunity to break another record, and become the leading scorer for any single Spanish club. Many opportunities went begging for the other Catalonians to score, but they opted to find the little Argentine instead.
His opportunity came about half an hour later, and it was vintage Messi. After a inch-perfect through pass from Cesc Fabregas, Messi was through on goal. Martinez thought coming of his line would close the gap, but it just tempted Lionel to lob it over him. Classic.
2-0 would be the score at the half-time interval, but once play resumed, it was a matter of time until the Catalan giants would find the net for a third time.
The third would come courtesy of a flawless Lionel Messi pass to Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been in spectacular form this season, and added to his goal tally with a calm finish past Martinez.
The romp continued just minutes after, with a classic tika-taka Barcelona build up and finish. Fabregas to Iniesta who back-heels it through for the former Arsenal man. Fabregas generously squares it to Pedro who taps it home, giving Barca a four-goal advantage.
The final two goals came from Messi, who received the ball at the edge of the area, and slotted it into the corner of the net. And Neymar, who took the ball from the mid-field, rode several challenges and struck a superb dipping strike from 25 yards out into the back of the net.
The six goals give Barcelona a little more comfort at the top of the table, going +9 goals ahead of Atletico Madrid in goal difference, and +11 goals ahead of fierce rivals Real Madrid who have a game at hand.
It was an unbelievable performance by Barca, and it came at the perfect time. They will travel to the Etihad to face the Citizens of Manchester in the Champions League midweek, and will want to go there with confidence and form.
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