Lionel Messi became the first player in Spain to ever score 50 goals in a season as Barcelona rebounded from its loss to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final with a 2-0 victory over Osasuna on Saturday night.
David Villa scored his 18th goal, and first in 12 games, in the 24th minute. Messi replaced Villa in the 58th and rolled home his league-leading 31st goal with three minutes left.
With 177 goals for Barcelona in all competitions, Messi is one behind Josep Samitier for third place on the Barcelona career scoring list, trailing Cesar Rodriguez (235) and Laszlo Kubala (196).
Gonzalo Higuaín scored a hat-trick (31, 42, 53) as Copa del Rey winners Madrid gave notice of their form by overwhelming third-placed Valencia 6-3.
Higuaín, who returned from a back problem earlier this month which had kept him out since November, was involved in two of the other goals as Karim Benzema (23) and Kaká (39, 62) also got in on the act. The hosts responded through Roberto Soldado (60), Jonas (80) and Jordi Alba (85).
With the win, Barcelona extended its La Liga unbeaten streak to 31 games and maintained an eight-point lead over second-place Real Madrid with five games remaining.