Real Madrid’s 3-0 win at home over Almería failed to ruffle Barcelona as the Catalan side hit six goals in a match for the fourth time this term during a 6-0 masterclass against Málaga that kept them six points clear in the Liga.
With Madrid kicking off earlier on Sunday, Juande Ramos’s side had hoped to pressure their fierce rivals and they could have done little more at the Santiago Bernabéu after Klaas Jan Huntelaar helped himself to two goals. Marcelo had given the champions a half-time advantage with a ferocious effort before the Dutch striker took his recent record to eight goals in six league outings with a second-half double.
But Barcelna were at their irrepressible best as they restored their buffer later on, scoring four times before the interval against a side who began the day in sixth spot. Xavi Hernández started the procession on 19 minutes before Lionel Messi beat three players and fired in a brilliant second to deflate the visitors. Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o ensured the three-pronged attack had all found their way on to the scoresheet before the interval and the latter did not stop there as he made it 6-0 on 57 minutes after Daniel Alves had struck with a nonchalant header.
Málaga dropped to eighth as a result, the lowest of the four sides all on 43 points. Atlético de Madrid are fifth but missed a chance to pull away from the bunch after losing 2-0 at struggling Mallorca. Valencia moved level with the capital club as a late Juan Mata strike earned the points at Real Racing Club, while Deportivo La Coruña completed the quartet thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Real Betis Balompié. Elsewhere, there were 2-1 home wins for Getafe and Numancia against Recreativo de Huelva and Real Sporting de Gijón respectively and bottom side Espanyol lost 1-0 at Osasuna.