Lionel Messi’s hat-trick in 18 first half minutes led Barcelona to a resounding 5-0 victory over Mallorca at the Nou Camp.
Emilio Nsue’s handball allowed Messi to score from the spot in the 13th minute. David Villa forced a fine save from Aouate before Barca doubled their lead in the 21st minute when Dani Alves’ deep cross and Adriano’s mishit across the face of goal presented Messi with a tap-in.
And he completed his hat-trick in sumptuous fashion on the half hour, tucking Dani Alves’ wonderful cross calmly past Aouate with a first-time finish from the edge of the box.
The second half brought a first senior goal for Isaac Cuenca and a superb late goal from Dani Alves to round off the scoring.
Gonzalo Higuain’s 10th goal of the season guided Real Madrid to a narrow 1-0 victory at Real Sociedad as they went to the top of the table.
Higuain scored in the ninth minute as Real threatened to run riot, with the hosts indebted to goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Sociedad came back after half-time and piled on the pressure but they could not make their approach pay as Jose Mourinho’s side claimed top spot, one place ahead of Barcelona.
Sofiane Feghouli scored his first two goals of the season to help Valencia to a routine 3-1 win over Getafe.
Feghouli put the hosts in front after only 12 minutes as his shot from the edge of the area bounced into the ground and looped over Miguel Angel Moya. The visitors responded with a fine equaliser when Juan Valera’s cross from the right was headed back across goal by Dani Guiza and expertly flicked in by Diego Castro.
However, Valencia were back in front within two minutes as Feghouli made the most of another ricochet in the Getafe area to side-foot the ball home, and the hosts wrapped up the three points when Artiz Aduriz claimed his first goal of the season with 15 minutes remaining.
Villarreal moved out of the relegation zone with a much-needed 2-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.
Bruno Soriano and Borja Valero scored either side of half-time, whilst Marcos Senna also had a first-half penalty saved.
Piti should have brought Rayo back into the game but shot wide moments after the second goal and the Madrid side had goalkeeper David Cobeno to thank for keeping the score down as he saved brilliantly from Hernan Perez in the final stages.