Barcelona reduced the gap at the top of La Liga back to 10 points with a comfortable 2-0 win over Racing Santander at El Sardinero.
Fresh from his epic five-goal haul against Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, Lionel Messi scored the opening goal after half an hour in Cantabria before netting a second-half penalty.
That spot-kick takes his league tally for the season to 30, drawing him two behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the ‘Pichichi’ top scorer award.
Quite incredibly, Messi’s brace also puts his goal count in all competitions for Barca this season to 50, 21 of which he has netted since the turn of the year.
The win keeps the Catalan side’s hopes of retaining the title alive, although the chances of them reeling in leaders Real Madrid continue to diminish with each passing week.
Defeat leaves Racing in the bottom three, although they would have needed to have won by a three-goal margin if they were to have moved out of the relegation zone on goal difference.