Pep Guardiola's attacking line-up reaped rewards as his side heaped the pressure on their arch rivals with their 10th consecutive league winBarcelona moved to within a single point of Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-0 victory over Getafe at Camp Nou.
In a comprehensive win, Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring before Lionel Messi added the second shortly before the break. Getafe limited the space in the second half but eventually succumbed to the pressure as Pedro and Sanchez put the game beyond doubt.
Barca began by squeezing Getafe high up the pitch and using their wide midfielders and wingers to stretch the pitch and edge forward down the flanks.
With 12 minutes played, Andres Iniesta forced the first save of the game from Miguel Moya, but there was nothing the Getafe keeper could do to keep Sanchez’s effort out just two minutes later.
Messi cushioned the ball into the path of the Chilean who then skipped inside of Alexis before bending an effort into the top corner from the edge of the box.
The Blaugrana were pulling Getafe apart at will but the second goal remained elusive. Pedro and Messi both failed enhance the lead either side of a contentious effort from Xavi in the 17th minute.
Messi threaded a pinpoint pass to put the midfielder clear to dink the ball over Moya, but saw his shot cleared off the line by Cata Diaz, and Messi failed to head in the rebound.
Barca remained dominant. Sanchez missed a fantastic opportunity to score his and his team’s second, when Isaac Cuenca’s tantalising cross begged for a tap in at the back post, but the Chilean could not oblige as he hit the side netting from inside the six-yard box.
Relief could be felt among the Barca ranks when the lead was eventually doubled just one minute before the break. Messi upped the tempo with a one-two with Iniesta in the box, who then teed the ball up for the Argentine to hammer a devastating finish into the back of the net from 15 yards.
Barcelona began the second half as they ended the first but fell flat soon after. Just before the hour mark, Busquets’ poor headed clearance fell to Diaz in space. He looped an ambitious shot at Victor Valdes’ goal but it lacked enough dip to find the net, rattling the bar before going behind.
In a low-tempo second period, it was not until the 73rd minute that Barcelona found the net again. Cuenca hugged the right touchline all night and recovered from an initial heavy touch to supply a great cross for Sanchez to head past Moya.
Two minutes later, Pep Guardiola’s side made the victory all the more emphatic. Messi supplied the expert delivery which Pedro flicked across the goal from the near post to score just his third league goal of the season.
Barcelona remain in second position but have closed the gap between themselves and Real Madrid to just one point. Jose Mourinho's side can restore their four-point advantage should they beat Atletico Madrid tomorrow evening. Getafe, meanwhile, remain in 10th place but could drop into the bottom half should results go against them tomorrow.