Real Madrid CF remain at the Liga helm after beating Athletic Club 5-1 but FC Barcelona sent out an even more powerful message ahead next Monday's 'El Clásico' with an 8-0 win at UD Almería, who dismissed coach Juan Manuel Lillo after the game.
Barcelona took over at the top for a couple of hours, in no small part due to an opening 37 minutes that spawned five goals. Lionel Messi swapped passes with David Villa to drill in the opener, Andrés Iniesta capitalised on a poor clearance and then Maxwell's cross was deflected past his own goalkeeper by Santiago Acasiete on 27 minutes.
Pedro Rodríguez sped away to make it 4-0 before Messi mustered another. Bojan Krkić struck either side of Messi's hat-trick sealing tap-in after the break as Barcelona equalled their club record away win in the Liga – the perfect warning shot ahead of the visit of Madrid.
Los Merengues were unwavering, though, as they reclaimed their one-point advantage. Gonzalo Higuaín outmuscled the Athletic rearguard to break the deadlock after 19 minutes and Cristiano Ronaldo drilled in the second on the half-hour mark. Fernando Llorente reduced arrears just before the break but a 57th-minute Sergio Ramos spot-kick made it 3-1 before Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a free-kick and penalty.
Third-placed Villarreal CF remain three points ahead of Valencia CF after a 1-1 draw despite the 81st-minute dismissal of visiting defender Marius Stankevičius.
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|Last updated: 27/11/2012 06:29 CET|
Arda Turan 61
|Venue: La Coruna|
Ibai Gómez 42