Madrid: Lionel Messi became the first player to score in eleven consecutive La Liga matches when he hit four as leaders Barcelona eased past a ten-man Osasuna with a 5-1 victory.
Pedro Rodriguez got the other and Raoul Loe got a consolation for Osasuna, who played for more than an hour with ten men after Alejandro Arribas was harshly sent-off after two handball incident.
Barcelona remain 15 points ahead of Real Madrid in third position and move eleven ahead of Atletico Madrid, who play later on Sunday at Athletic Bilbao.
Osasuna remain in the relegation zone on 18 points, two from safety.
Messi now has 33 goals for the season, 12 more than Cristiano Ronaldo, who earlier on Sunday hit a hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Getafe 4-0.
David Villa started his first league game for Barca in more than two months and former Liverpool player Javier Mascherano filled in for the suspended Gerard Pique in the centre of defence.
Thiago Alcantara was the first to test the highly rated Andres Fernandez in the Osasuna goal on four minutes, but the keeper was quick to block a shot that the midfielder tried to lift over his head from close range.
It did not take long though for the breakthrough and on eleven minutes Messi opened the scoring and claimed another record.
A long through pass was cleared by Andres only as far as Xavi Hernandez, who found the Argentine in the area. There was still work to do but the four-time winner of the Ballon d'Or produced a beautiful dummy to take him past the keeper before tapping home.


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