La Liga wrap: Messi scores 60th goal
Barcelona fought back from a goal down to defeat Real Zaragoza 4-1 in La Liga as Lionel Messi scored a brace to claim his 60th goal of the season.
Zaragoza, who had their coach Manolo Jimenez sent to the stands and played the second half with 10 men after Abraham Fernandez was sent off, took an early lead through Carlos Aranda on 30 minutes after he had missed a penalty six minutes prior.
But Carles Puyol's crafty left-foot strike and Messi's first from inside the penalty area saw Barca wrestle back the lead within ten minutes.
Fernandez's dismissal made life difficult for the hosts but they did match Barcelona with 14 strikes on goal before Messi scored from the spot four minutes from time and Pedro added a fourth.
Barcelona move to within three points of leaders Real Madrid ahead of their clash with Valencia on Sunday.
Rayo Vallecano smashed six past sixth-placed Osasuna to all but assure their survival with a stunning performance.
Michu scored a brace, including his 15th of the season, for Rayo in the 6-0 win.
Goals from Diego Costa and Jose Maria Movilla in the first half saw the hosts to a 4-0 half-time lead, prompting Osasuna manager Jose Luis Mendilibar to make all three substitutions.
But the changes did little to stem the tide with Rayo adding another two in the second half through Emiliano Armenteros and Tito, who completed the rout with an easy finish 11 minutes from time.
Defeat for Sporting Gijon pushed them ever closer to the drop after a 2-0 loss at Getafe.
Venezuelan forward Miku grabbed the first after 20 minutes and soon after half-time Diego Castro volleyed home from close range, leaving no way back for Sporting, who remain bottom of La Liga after failing to win in their past five matches.
Espanyol played out an entertaining 2-2 home draw with Real Sociedad, strikes from Vadim Demidov and on-loan Manchester City striker Vladimir Weiss cancelled out Carlos Vela's double for the hosts.
Real Betis compounded pressure on struggling Villarreal with a 3-1 win at home that keeps Miguel Angel Lotina's side four points clear of the drop zone.
Roque Santa Cruz and Ruben Castro scored within three first-half minutes to put Betis 2-0 up before Benat made it three in the 59th minute.
Marco Ruben converted from the penalty spot for Villarreal four minutes into the stoppage time.