Barcelona easily defeated Rayo Vallecano 5-1 last night, ensuring that they took their undefeated streak in all competitions to 35 games. It surpasses a record that’s stood for 27 years, and yet again underlines their position as the number one team in the country. With the form that they are currently showing, fans are now wondering how many more games they can go without defeat.
Last night’s match was one of the easiest Barcelona will face all season, thanks in equal parts to Vallecano’s own self-destruction and Barcelona’s brilliance. Rakitic opened the scoring for the Catalans after a horrendous mistake from the Vallecano keeper, before Messi doubled the lead just one minute later. Things then got even worse for Vallecano before half-time, as they saw Diego Llorente sent off.
If the first half was bad, the second was even worse for the hosts. Messi scored another, before Vallecano pulled one back through Contreiras Goncalves. Soon after, Vallecano were down to nine men, although they did have some luck when Luis Suarez missed the resulting penalty. This luck only held for five minutes though, as Messi completed his hat-trick in the 72nd minute. The rout was then completed by Arda Turan, who made the score 5-1 in the 86th minute.
Barcelona’s record run wasn’t the only notable achievement in the match though, as Lionel Messi equalled Cristiano Ronaldo’s record number of hat-tricks in La Liga. Both men now sit on 35, which will only further fuel the debate over which of the men is the better player. Messi’s hat-trick also meant that he takes his tally for the season to 33 in all competitions, and 19 in La Liga.
But what does the result do to the La Liga table? Well, it means that Barcelona extend their lead at the top of the table, and now almost certainly look like they will be champions at the end of the season. They are six points ahead of second placed Atletico Madrid, while they are a massive twelve points ahead of perennial rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona next play on Sunday, as they travel to Eibar – a team currently in 8th place and performing way above expectations. Most expect the game to be an easy victory for Barcelona though, and another three points to add to their already impressive total. Closest rivals Atletico travel to Gary Neville’s Valencia, while Real Madrid host Celta Vigo.