Match ends, Rayo Vallecano 0, Barcelona 2.
Lionel Messi and Neymar scored within 78 seconds of each other to ensure Barcelona retained top spot in La Liga with a routine win at Rayo Vallecano.
Argentina captain Messi, 27, lobbed in the opener to move within two goals of the Spanish league goalscoring record.
Barca's lead was doubled when Brazil forward Neymar, 22, drilled a low first-time shot into the bottom corner.
Rayo had two men sent off after half-time as Barca stayed two points clear of second-placed Valencia.
|Lionel Messi has scored 10 goals in his seven La Liga appearances against Rayo Vallecano.||Neymar has scored seven goals in La Liga 2014-15, only two fewer than he managed in the whole of last season (26 matches).|
|Barca have won all seven matches against Rayo since they were promoted to La Liga in 2011, scoring 31 and conceding once.||Barca keeper Claudio Bravo beat Nou Camp predecessor Pedro Maria Artola's record of going 560 minutes without conceding in 1977-78.|
Valencia had moved above the Catalan club earlier on Saturday with an eye-catching 3-1 home win against champions Atletico Madrid.
But Barca produced a confident display, albeit against a poor Rayo side, to reassume control.
Luis Enrique's team were beaten for the first time this season when they lost 3-2 at Champions League opponents Paris St-Germain on Tuesday.
The French champions made Barca's previously impregnable defence look vulnerable and Madrid-based Rayo tried to unsettle them in the early stages with high-tempo pressing.
But Barca coped with the pressure before tearing apart Rayo's dangerously high defensive line with two hopeful long balls.
Centre-back Gerard Pique's punt found Messi, who controlled the ball with his head before lifting it over goalkeeper Tono.
It was his 249th league goal for Barcelona, putting him two behind Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra, who scored 251 in the 1940s and 1950s.
And within seconds of Messi's opener, Neymar put the game beyond mid-table Rayo.
Another long ball caught out the home defence, which had conceded 10 goals in their previous six matches, allowing teenage forward Munir to slip in Neymar for his eighth strike of the season.
Messi was a constant menace as Barca comfortably controlled the match after the break but wasted a host of chances when well placed.
Rayo finished with nine men after defender Jorge Morcillo was sent off on the hour for his second bookable offence and substitute Javier Aquino followed suit in injury-time.
But it did not affect the scoreline as Barca, last season's runners-up, set a new La Liga record by keeping a clean sheet for the seventh successive game.
- 25Rodríguez Martínez
- 2Román Triguero
- 15BaBooked at 18minsSubstituted forContreiras Gonçalvesat 45'minutes
- 20MorcilloBooked at 60mins
- 10TrashorrasBooked at 33minsSubstituted forSánchez Ruizat 74'minutes
- 22Pereira CarneiroSubstituted forAquinoat 45'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 9Contreiras Gonçalves
- 17Marín Ruiz
- 21Sánchez Ruiz
- 22Alves da Silva
- 3PiquéBooked at 72mins
- 6HernándezBooked at 10mins
- 8IniestaSubstituted forRakiticat 69'minutes
- 31El HaddadiSubstituted forPedroat 59'minutes
- 11NeymarSubstituted forRamírezat 80'minutes
- 1ter Stegen
- Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rayo Vallecano 0, Barcelona 2.
Second yellow card to Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano) for a bad foul.
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano).
Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Gerard Piqué.
Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Busquets.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Leo Baptistao.
Attempt blocked. Xavi (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Tito (Rayo Vallecano).
Attempt missed. Alberto Bueno (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Gaël Kakuta.
Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).
Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Rayo Vallecano. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.
Offside, Rayo Vallecano. Gaël Kakuta tries a through ball, but Manucho is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Emiliano Insúa (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Raúl Baena.
Attempt missed. Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Toño.
Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Xavi.
Attempt blocked. Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic.