La Liga review: Barcelona hammer Rayo Vallecano and drama at Villarreal
Last Updated: 16/02/14 10:22am
Neymar and Lionel Messi: On top form for Barca
Barcelona warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League showdown with Manchester City by hammering Rayo Vallecano 6-0 - and there were dramatic scenes at Villarreal.
Villarreal's match with Celta Vigo at El Madrigal was suspended with three minutes left - with the visitors 1-0 up - when a smoke bomb, reportedly also containing tear gas, was thrown on to the pitch. Thick white smoke caused havoc, fans streaming away with many clearly in some distress.
The match resumed after a half-an-hour delay and Nolito added a second in the last minute, adding to Fabian Orellana's 83rd-minute goal, to give Celta a 2-0 away win.
Barca meanwhile were simply superb as they demolished Vallecano with Lionel Messi moving up to join third in the all-time Primera Division scoring charts with a brace.
Messi struck in the 36th and 68th minutes of a completely one-sided match at the Nou Camp to move above Alfredo Di Stefano (227) 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.
Hugo Sanchez is second on the list and next in Messi's sights with 234 goals for Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Rayo.
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.
They reclaimed that spot from Atletico Madrid, who won 3-0 earlier on Saturday at home to Real Valladolid to end their 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.