Barcelona enjoyed complete control against Getafe as they put six past the La Liga strugglers in a 6-0 victory at Camp Nou on Saturday.
With Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Arsenal in mind, Luis Enrique’s five changes began with dropping Dani Alves for Aleix Vidal and Javier Mascherano for Jeremy Mathieu from the 4-0 win at Eibar last weekend.
Elsewhere, Sergi Roberto and Andres Iniesta came in for Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic, but there was a return in attack for Neymar, although Luis Suarez’s rest meant Munir El Haddadi kept his place up top.
The champions, however, played like their full-strength best and needed just eight minutes to break the deadlock, when Alba read Messi’s through ball at the left-hand byline and sent a low cross into the box for Juan Rodriguez to turn home.
Moments later, Munir was taken down by Emiliano Velazquez in the box, yet Messi stepped up to miss his third League penalty of the season from seven attempts as his strike to Guaita’s right was pushed away by the goalkeeper.
Nonetheless, the setback was a mere blip as Barca only went from strength to strength, Andres Iniesta picking out Messi with a pinpoint ball over the Getafe defence, and the No 10 superbly taking the pass on first time as he flicked a volleyed cross for Munir to freely head past Guaita.
It was then Neymar’s turn in the spotlight as Sergi Roberto shows great resilience in the final third to feed Messi with a sliding pass. The latter then took a touch, before slipping Neymar in behind, and the No 11 ended his three-game drought in front of goal with a first-time finish past Guaita.
Rounding off the half in the only way he knew how, Messi showed precision to tee himself up for the shot from outside the box and proceeded to opt for power as he bent an out-curler past the former Valencia shot-stopper.
Barca maintained their intensity levels after the break, although Arda was unable to side-foot home the hosts’ sixth as Messi laid the ball on a plate for the Turkey international in the box, only for the latter to slice his effort wide.
Still, a third Messi assist was just around the corner as another deadly through ball was met by the diagonal run of Neymar, who promptly dispatched a cool finish past Guaita, before Arda’s delicate over kick sealed the deal with half an hour to spare.
Barcelona 6-0 Getafe
Juan Rodriguez og 8, Munir 19, Neymar 32, Messi 40, Neymar 51, Arda 57
Barcelona: Bravo; Vidal, Pique (Bartra 69), Mathieu (Vermaelen 61), Alba; Sergi, Arda, Iniesta (Samper 61); Messi, Munir, Neymar
Getafe: Guaita; Buendia, Vergini, Velazquez, Pereira; Medran, Juan Rodriguez; Leon (Gomez 54), Wamberto (Bernard 78), Yoda; Scepovic (Victor Rodriguez 54)
Referee: Perez Montero