La Liga round-up: Messi and Ronaldo run riot
Lionel Messi hit four goals for leaders Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a hat-trick for Real Madrid as both sides recorded crushing La Liga victories ahead of their midweek King's Cup semi-final clash.
Messi took his league tally for the season to 33 and 202 overall in Barca's 5-1 win at home to 10-man Osasuna while Ronaldo passed 300 club goals and now has 21 this term as Real thumped Getafe 4-0 at the Bernabeu.
Barca's return to winning ways after last weekend's 3-2 reverse at Real Sociedad, their first defeat of the campaign, put them 11 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid who lost 3-0 at Athletic Bilbao.
Champions Real, whose hopes of a second straight title are effectively over with 21 of 38 matches played, are four points behind Atletico in third.
World Player of the Year Messi became the first player to score on 11 successive La Liga matchdays and, at 25, the youngest to reach 200 league goals.
He has scored more goals himself than all the other La Liga teams apart from Real and Atletico and is on course to smash the record for the most in a season (50) he set last term.
The Argentina forward opened the scoring in the 11th minute at the Nou Camp when he was sent clear in the penalty area by a pinpoint Xavi pass.Messi waited for Osasuna goalkeeper Andres Fernandez to go to ground before walking the ball into the net.
The visitors, who are third from bottom on 18 points, grabbed a shock equaliser in the 24th minute through midfielder Raoul Loe but their chances of causing an upset were ended when defender Alejandro Arribas was shown a second yellow card three minutes later.
Arribas handled in the penalty area and Messi hammered the ball home from the spot before Daniel Alves unselfishly set up Pedro to tap in Barca's third goal five minutes before the break.
Messi completed his hat-trick in the 56th minute and grabbed a fourth goal two minutes later.
Real, who host holders Barca in the King's Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday, put a turbulent week behind them in the earlier kickoff with Portuguese Ronaldo again on song as they saw off Getafe 4-0.
The buildup to the game was dominated by a report in Marca sports daily that said captains Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos had threatened to leave unless coach Jose Mourinho was dismissed.
Real president Florentino Perez called a news conference to deny the story, accusing the newspaper of lying, and the Spanish champions let their football do the talking on Sunday with a comfortable victory against their city rivals.
Mourinho, who turned 50 on Saturday, left several key players out of his starting lineup including Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira while goalkeeper Casillas was missing after breaking a bone in his hand in midweek.
Barca's interim coach Jordi Roura, standing in for Tito Vilanova who is recovering after throat surgery, also rested Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas, the latter only coming on for Xavi late in the game.
Real struggled to break through a determined Getafe defence in the first half but once Ramos had scrambled the ball into the net from a corner eight minutes after the break the home side turned the screw.
Ronaldo struck three times in 10 minutes, the first his 300th club goal.The Portuguese, who was substituted with 15 minutes left after a knock to his right ankle, scored five for Sporting Lisbon, 118 for Manchester United and now has 179 for Real thanks to his 20th career treble.
Athletic Bilbao gained some measure of revenge for last season's Europa League final as they inflicted just a fourth league defeat of the season on Atletico Madrid with a 3-0 win at San Mames.
Both Thibaut Courtois and Gorka Iraizoz had produced remarkable saves from Markel Susaeta and Emre respectively to keep the scores level at half-time, but the hosts were in front within five minutes of the restart as Mikel San Jose nodded home from Susaeta's corner.Susaeta then finished the game as a contest with a neat finish from Ander Herrera's through ball 13 minutes from time and Oscar de Marcos rounded off a fine night for the hosts when he stroked home Aritz Aduriz's cross at the end of a flowing counter-attack seven minutes later.
Elsewhere today, Malaga bounced back to winning ways with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over relegation-threatened Real Mallorca despite playing the final 18 minutes with a man less.
The Andalusian side had slumped from fourth to eighth after taking just one point from their previous three matches, but they were triumphant tonight after seeing off battling Mallorca at the Iberostar Stadium.
And Rayo Vallecano defeated Real Betis 3-0 with Piti (pen), Andrija Delibasic and Jose Carlos scoring for the home side.
Ricardo Costa's stoppage-time header earned Valencia a 3-2 victory in a topsy-turvy encounter as bottom team Deportivo La Coruna surrendered a 2-1 lead at the Riazor and finished the game with nine men.
The match was all-action from the outset, Jonas' looping header after just 31 seconds putting Los Che ahead before Riki's brace gave Deportivo a half-time advantage.
Silvio's needless dismissal seven minutes after the restart changed the course of the game, though, as Nelson Valdez equalised and then Costa bagged a dramatic late winner - to lift Valencia to fifth - before Paulo Assuncao's red card rubbed further salt in the hosts' wounds.
There was also late drama at the Ciutat de Valencia, where Antonio Rukavina's stoppage-time own goal handed Levante a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Real Valladolid.
Javier Baraja had given the visitors an early lead with a sweetly struck volley but Levante equalised two minutes before half-time through Jose Barkero's fine curling free-kick.
Then, in added time, Valdo miscontrolled Obafemi Martins' pass but the loose ball struck Rukavina and deflected past the helpless Dani Hernandez and into the net.
Elsewhere, Real Sociedad stretched their impressive run to just one defeat in 11 league games but were unable to make their numerical advantage count as 10-man Celta Vigo held on for a 1-1 draw at Balaidos.
Michael Krohn-Dehli had given the hosts the lead with a wonderfully worked goal on 32 minutes but Celta were forced onto the back foot just after the break when Augusto Fernandez received a second yellow card for a handball.
Gorka Elustondo then brought Sociedad level with a powerful header from Gonzalo Castro's corner just before the hour mark, but the visitors failed to create many more clear-cut chances in the final half-hour and remained five points off the top four.
And Espanyol continued their impressive revival under coach Javier Aguirre with a goalless draw at Real Zaragoza in a match of few clear-cut opportunities.
Both teams finished the match with 10 men as Espanyol's Javi Lopez and Cristian Sapunaru of Zaragoza were sent off in the closing stages.