Barcelona run riot, Atleti back on track
Lionel Messi moved into joint third place in the all-time Primera Division scoring charts with a brace as Barcelona warmed up for their Champions League showdown against Manchester City with a comprehensive 6-0 demolition of Rayo Vallecano.
Messi struck in the 36th and 68th minutes of a completely one-sided match at the Nou Camp to move above Alfredo Di Stefano in the record books and level with another Real Madrid legend, Raul, on 228 La Liga goals.
At just 26 years old it now seems only a matter of time before the prolific Messi claims the outright record, which is the 251 goals scored by former Athletic Bilbao star Telmo Zarra.
Adriano opened the floodgates in just the second minute and Alexis Sanchez (53), Pedro Rodriguez (56) and a fantastic Neymar goal (89) added to Messi's double as Barca reclaimed top spot in La Liga.
Atletico Madrid had briefly moved top after a commanding 3-0 win at home to Real Valladolid, which ended a three-game losing streak.
Two goals in the opening four minutes from Raul Garcia and Diego Costa got Atletico off to a flying start and Diego Godin added a third in the second half to seal a morale-boosting victory for Diego Simeone's men.
A wonderful strike by David Barral was all Levante needed to see off Almeria 1-0 and move up to seventh in the Primera Division table.
The striker hit a sensational volley after 61 minutes, finally converting one of the numerous chances that had fallen at his feet during the game, although once again Joaquin Caparros' side were grateful to their goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who produced an outstanding save to prevent a late equaliser from Oscar Diaz.
Celta were leading through Fabian Orellana’s 83rd-minute goal when the referee ordered the play be halted. The game eventually restarted after some confusion and Nolito added a second goal to secure the victory.