By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona established a new club record after a bravura display saw off Cadiz 3-1.
Barcelona established a new club record after a bravura performance saw off Cadiz 3-1 away from home.
A delightful Ludovic Giuly goal and a brace from Samuel Eto'o helped Barcelona to a record-breaking 12th win in a row - nine of which have come in La Liga.
Cadiz had started brightly and had several chances, the best of which fell to Matias Pavoni, but he headed over.
Once Barca took the lead on 33 minutes, the reigning champions never looked back. Andres Iniesta slipped a pass through to Giuly and the France international clipped the ball over the onrushing Armando.
In first half injury time, Barca scored again after Rafael Marquez fell under an ill-timed challenge from Jose De La Cuesta. Eto'o, at the second time of asking, applied the finish from 12 yards.
The second half was all about Lionel Messi, who stole the show in Ronaldinho's absence and the teenage Argentinian appears destined to become the best player since his compatriot Diego Maradona.
Barca's third goal came on 49 minutes after Armando had produced a brilliant save from Eto'o. The reprieve was only temporary as the loose ball fell to Messi and the twinkle-toed playmaker fed Eto'o, with the Cameroon ace making no mistake this time.
Messi was then involved in a move which saw Deco denied by Armando, and the Cadiz keeper then made a fine stop from substitute Henrik Larsson.
Armando then produced a magnificent double save, first stopping Oleguer after a delicate Messi pass and then turning Larsson's rebound over.
There was some consolation for Cadiz, however, as Nenad Mirosavljevic scored in injury time after the visiting defence failed to react to a quick free kick.
Deportivo La Coruna comfortably won the Galician derby after a 3-0 away victory against Celta Vigo.
The hosts were torn apart by their rivals after Celta keeper Jose Pinto was sent off after just 23 minutes.
From the resulting penalty Diego Tristan put Depor ahead and Juan Carlos Valeron added a second goal on 42 minutes.
The scoring was complete in first half injury time after Joan Capdevila netted, while Tristan missed a second penalty on 66 minutes.
Athletic Bilbao prevailed in the battle of the basement boys after a 2-0 success at home to bottom club Real Betis.
Ismael Urzaiz netted on 21 minutes for Bilbao, with the second goal coming from Mikel Danobeitia on 28 minutes.
Betis' misery was complete 10 minutes from time when the surprise strugglers had Oscar Lopez sent off.