Lionel Messi scores four to pass 200 mark
Lionel Messi scored four goals to become the youngest player to pass the 200-mark in the Spanish league and set a La Liga record with goals in 11 consecutive games, leading Barcelona to a 5-1 rout of Osasuna.
With his 22nd hat trick for Barcelona and fifth game of four goals or more, Messi increased his La Liga total to 202 goals in 235 games.
The 25-year-old became the eighth player to reach 200, joining Telmo Zarra (251), Hugo Sanchez (234), Raul Gonzalez (228), Alfredo di Stefano (227), Cesar Rodriguez (223), Quini (219) and Pahino (210). Zarra had been the youngest to reach 200, achieving the feat when he was 29.
Messi has 44 goals this season, including 33 in La Liga. He has scored in his last 16 starts overall and in a record 11 consecutive La Liga games, breaking the mark he tied last season. Mariano Martin (1942-43 to 1943-44) and Brazil's Ronaldo (1996-97) also accomplished the feat, both for Barcelona.
Barcelona hosts Real Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.
"We went out there and took care of business like always," Messi said. "It was important to put the game away because it isn't easy when everyone is talking so much about the `clasico'."
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 20th career hat trick in an 11-minute span to lead defending champion Real Madrid over Getafe 4-0.
Barcelona reopened an 11-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid, which lost 3-0 at Athletic Bilbao. Real Madrid trails Barcelona by 15 points.