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It is said that the springtime, with its rising temperatures, is when the risk of avalanche is at its highest. Yet while the winter may not be officially over, FC Barcelona have been red hot for months.
The Catalans showed no signs of cooling off on Saturday afternoon at Camp Nou, burying Getafe with a barrage of goals to win their 12th consecutive game in La Liga and extend their overall unbeaten streak to 37.
The landslide victory was well underway even before halftime, as Getafe surrendered an own-goal and Munir El Haddadi, Neymar and Lionel Messi all found the net to stake Barça out to a 4–0 lead before the intermission.
Neymar and Arda Turan piled it on with quick strikes early in the second half and the 6–0 score remained frozen, unmoved until the final whistle.
The league's leading scorer, Luis Suárez, was given the day off. It hardly mattered.
Barça went ahead serendipitously in the 8th minute when Jordi Alba’s give-and-go pass back to Messi caromed off the heel of Getafe defender Juan Rodríguez and into the net for an own-goal and a 1–0 lead.
Lionel Messi squandered a sterling chance to extend the lead a few minutes later when his penalty kick was saved by Getafe goalkeeper Vicente Guaita in the wake of a foul on Neymar in the Getafe area.
But the Catalans didn’t have to wait long before upping their lead to 2–0 in the 20th minute. Midfielder Andrés Iniesta picked out the streaking Messi, who in turn found Munir El Haddadi with a delicately played, one-touch volley and the 20-year-old striker, though tightly marked, headed home from out in front just beyond the six-yard box.
Barça’s lead grew again in the 32nd when Messi split a pair of defenders with a perfectly placed through ball to Neymar, who slotted in past Guaita.
But despite the three goals and a panoply of other scoring chances, the highlight of the first half came when Barça went up 4–0 in the 40th minute. Messi, lurking outside the penalty area, took a pass from Arda Turan, spun around, and fired a 25-metre rocket past the outstretched arms of the diving Guaita and inside the right post. The goal was Messi’s 22nd in La Liga this season and his 31st overall.
Neymar notched his second of the day to make it 5–0 in the 50th after taking a feed from Messi in the area and finishing with aplomb. It was Neymar’s 20th goal of the season in La Liga and set off a festive, tri-level wave among the 87,533 spectators on hand.
The scoreboard moved to 6–0 as Arda Turan one-upped Messi’s first-half highlight-reel goal with one if his own, burying a bicycle kick on 57 minutes after a Barça corner kick was kept afloat and tipped along through the penalty area first by Munir, then by Gerard Piqué.
Later on Saturday night second-place Atlético Madrid beat Deportivo to keep pace, eight points behind FC Barcelona in the La Liga table.
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