Barcelona regained top spot in La Liga with a comfortable 6-1 victory over Sporting Gijon at the Nou Camp.
A header from Lionel Messi, making his 500th Barca start, and Juan Rodriguez’s own goal set the Spanish champions on course to victory inside 11 minutes.
It took just nine minutes for Barca to hit the front, Messi evading the offside trap to latch on to the returning Javier Mascherano’s raking diagonal pass before looping the ball over Gijon ‘keeper Ivan Cuellar.
Carlos Castro pulled one back for the visitors midway through the first half but Luis Suarez’s sensational volley saw Luis Enrique’s men wrestle back the initiative.
The onslaught came in the second half with goals from Suarez, Neymar and Rakitic. It´s now game on in La Liga, as Real Madrid drew 3-3 at home to Las Palmas, Barca are a point clear of their rivals, but Real have a game in hand.