Spanish La Liga
BarcelonaBarcelona6Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano0

Barcelona 6-0 Rayo Vallecano

By Andy CryerBBC Sport
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
  • 22Alves da Silva
  • 21Correia
  • 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
  • 22Saúl
  • 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 6, Rayo Vallecano 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 6, Rayo Vallecano 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonathan Viera (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Johan Mojica.

  4. 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.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Rayo Vallecano. Rubén Rochina tries a through ball, but Roberto Trashorras is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adriano (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Cristian Tello.

  7. Post update

    Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Johan Mojica (Rayo Vallecano).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Rubén Rochina (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raúl Baena.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Rayo Vallecano. Conceded by Dani Alves.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Saúl Ñíguez.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Saúl Ñíguez.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

  14. Post update

    Jonathan Viera (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Zé Castro.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Cristian Tello replaces Lionel Messi.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rubén Rochina (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Iago Falqué.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Rayo Vallecano. Samuele Longo replaces Joaquín Larrivey.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Saúl Ñíguez.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 15th February 2014

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