Spanish La Liga
Barcelona6Rayo Vallecano0

Barcelona 6-0 Rayo Vallecano

Lionel Messi and Neymar

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona prepared for Tuesday's Champions League trip to Manchester City by returning to the top of La Liga with a stylish win over Rayo Vallecano.

Left-back Adriano curled in the opener before Argentina's Messi lobbed in.

Alexis Sanchez latched onto Messi's pass to score after the break before Pedro converted a slick move.

Messi scored his second from 15 yards before substitute Neymar scored from long range on his return from injury.

The four-time world football of the year went above former Real Madrid striker and compatriot Alfredo Di Stefano in La Liga goal-scoring history, and his 228 goals in 263 games takes him joint third in the all-time league goal-scoring charts with ex-Real Madrid striker Raul.

He has now scored five goals in three games for the defending La Liga champions and looks to be returning to top form, after an injury-hit season, ahead of their last 16 Champions League meeting with Manchester City in midweek.

Barcelona also look to be hitting form at the right time as they dispatched struggling Rayo Vallecano with ultimate ease to return to the La Liga summit.

Atletico Madrid's 3-0 win over Real Valladolid earlier in the day had temporarily put them top but Barca moved back ahead of Diego Simeone's men on goal difference.

Real Madrid can move back level on points with both their rivals with victory at Getafe on Sunday.

Adriano got Barcelona off to the perfect start when he curled home the opener inside two minutes, before Messi and Pedro struck the post.

A sublime lob from Messi doubled Barca's lead before half-time and he then teed up Alexis Sanchez to calmly make it three after the break.

A brilliant backheel from Andres Iniesta then freed Cesc Fabregas inside the area and he unselfishly squared for Pedro to slot home from close range.

Messi scored his second as he slotted Sanchez's pass into the far corner, before substitute Neymar fired a stunning 25-yard strike into the top corner in his first game in three weeks.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1Valdés
  • 22Dani Alves
  • 21Adriano
  • 16Busquets
  • 3Piqué
  • 5PuyolSubstituted forMascheranoat 68'minutes
  • 4Fábregas
  • 8Iniesta
  • 10MessiSubstituted forTelloat 74'minutes
  • 9Sánchez
  • 7PedroSubstituted forNeymarat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Neymar
  • 13Pinto Colorado
  • 14Mascherano
  • 17Song
  • 18Alba
  • 19Afellay
  • 20Tello

Rayo Vallecano

  • 13Martínez
  • 21ArbillaSubstituted forRomán Trigueroat 42'minutes
  • 26Mojica
  • 10Trashorras
  • 18Rosa Vale Castro
  • 22Ñíguez
  • 16Rochina
  • 4Baena
  • 20LarriveySubstituted forLongoat 73'minutes
  • 23BuenoSubstituted forViera Ramosat 62'minutes
  • 24Falqué

Substitutes

  • 1Cobeño
  • 2Román Triguero
  • 7Bangoura
  • 8González Morales
  • 12Longo
  • 17Galeano
  • 19Viera Ramos
Referee:
Juan Martínez Munuera
Attendance:
74,517

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamRayo Vallecano
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home21
Away9
Shots on Target
Home10
Away4
Corners
Home12
Away5
Fouls
Home6
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 6, Rayo Vallecano 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 6, Rayo Vallecano 0.
Attempt missed. Jonathan Viera (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Johan Mojica.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 6, Rayo Vallecano 0. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.
Offside, Rayo Vallecano. Rubén Rochina tries a through ball, but Roberto Trashorras is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Adriano (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Cristian Tello.
Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Johan Mojica (Rayo Vallecano).
Attempt saved. Rubén Rochina (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raúl Baena.
Corner, Rayo Vallecano. Conceded by Dani Alves.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Saúl Ñíguez.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Saúl Ñíguez.
Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).
Jonathan Viera (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zé Castro.
Attempt blocked. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Cristian Tello replaces Lionel Messi.
Attempt missed. Rubén Rochina (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Iago Falqué.

Substitution

Substitution, Rayo Vallecano. Samuele Longo replaces Joaquín Larrivey.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Saúl Ñíguez.
Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).
Roberto Trashorras (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).
Jonathan Viera (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Javier Mascherano replaces Carles Puyol.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 5, Rayo Vallecano 0. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.
Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Neymar.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Tito.
Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Johan Mojica.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Neymar replaces Pedro.

Substitution

Substitution, Rayo Vallecano. Jonathan Viera replaces Alberto Bueno.
Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).
Roberto Trashorras (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Busquets.
Attempt missed. Joaquín Larrivey (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Iago Falqué.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zé Castro.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 4, Rayo Vallecano 0. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.
Corner, Rayo Vallecano. Conceded by Víctor Valdés.
Attempt saved. Joaquín Larrivey (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Iago Falqué.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 3, Rayo Vallecano 0. Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi following a fast break.
Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Rubén Rochina (Rayo Vallecano).
Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Johan Mojica (Rayo Vallecano).
Attempt missed. Joaquín Larrivey (Rayo Vallecano) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Johan Mojica with a cross.

Second Half

Second Half begins Barcelona 2, Rayo Vallecano 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Barcelona 2, Rayo Vallecano 0.
Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).
Raúl Baena (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Rayo Vallecano. Tito replaces Anaitz Arbilla.
Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Johan Mojica (Rayo Vallecano).
Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joaquín Larrivey (Rayo Vallecano).

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 2, Rayo Vallecano 0. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas with a through ball.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Saúl Ñíguez.
Attempt blocked. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Rubén Martínez.
Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Dani Alves with a headed pass.
goal

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