By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona's grip on the Spanish title shows little sign of loosening after another win.Barcelona's grip on the Spanish title shows little sign of loosening after another classy display saw them cruise past Real Mallorca 3-0.
Mallorca are currently slumped at the wrong end of the table and in truth, never really had much a prayer against a a Barca side that have now won 14 consecutive league matches - especially given Eduardo Tazzio's red card in the second half.
Frank Rijkaard's side were always in control once Ludovic Giuly had given them a lead in the 34th minute with a cool finish but it was substitute Lionel Messi that stole the plaudits in the second period.
The diminutive Argentine forward scored two sumptuous goals in the second half, the first a beautifully placed finish after rolling past his man in the area.
A fine strike was eclipsed as the game drew to its close, when he took Ronaldinho's ball in his stride before providing a fine dinked effort over Miguel Angel Moya that capped an excellent display by Barca.
Nearest rivals Valencia needed two goals in the last seven minutes to secure a 2-2 draw with Zaragoza despite having home advantage.
Zaragoza took a two goal lead through goals from Sergio Garcia and in-form Ewerthon but the dismissal of David Generelo proved to be their undoing.
Valencia responded by introducing striker Patrick Kluivert and he pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute before setting up Pablo Aimar's leveller with just a minute left on the clock.
Real Madrid were fortunate to come away from Celta Vigo with a 2-1 win after being out-played for large spells of an entertaining contest.
The capital giants took a lead against the run of play in the 17th minute when Robinho finished a lightning counter-attack in some style but Celta were level before the break when Matias Lequi found a leveller.
Celta struck Real's post twice in the second period but it was Madrid that stole maximum spoils when Cicinho netted his first goal for the club after Robinho's shot was saved in the 57th minute.
Osasuna suffered a setback in their bid for a top three finish when they went down 2-0 at home to Real Betis, whose goals came from Luis Fernandez and Edu.
Espanyol had too much for Malaga as they raced into a 31 minute 3-0 lead through a Raul Tamudo (9 & 20) double and one from Luis Garcia. Malaga's consolation came from Francisco Ruano six minutes before the interval.
Sevilla claimed an impressive 2-0 win over Villarreal courtesy of goals from Luis Fabiano and Fredi Kanoute, while Alaves cruised past Real Sociedad 3-1.
Santiago Carpintero gave Alaves the lead in the first period before a two goal John Aloisi salvo gave them complete control - leaving Dalibor Stefanovic to net what was scant consolation in the final minute.
Click below for individual match summaries:
Alaves 3-1 Real Sociedad
Celta Vigo 1-2 Real Madrid
Espanyol 3-1 Malaga
Osasuna 0-2 Real Betis
Real Mallorca 0-3 Barcelona
Sevilla 2-0 Villarreal
Valencia 2-2 Real Zaragoza