Primera Liga round-up
Barca and Real secure emphatic victories
Last Updated: October 15, 2011 10:53pm
Barcelona produced another dazzling display to stay top of the table, but Real Madrid remain in hot pursuit.
Lionel Messi was again the star of the show as Barcelona swept aside Racing Santander 3-0 at Camp Nou to tighten their grip on first place in the Primera Liga.
Messi added the finish following a slick one-two with Andres Iniesta to move clear in second on the Catalan club's list of all-time top goalscorers.
And he rounded off the scoring with a simple finish after Iniesta had produced an outrageous piece of skill and shot against a post.
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Messi's two goals were his 195th and 196th in all competitions for Barca and took him ahead of Laszlo Kubala on the all-time list.
Xavi scored with a rare header in between times to keep Barca marching on and leave winless Racing in the bottom three.
Gonzalo Higuain scored his second consecutive Primera Liga hat-trick during Real Madrid's 4-1 home defeat of promoted Real Betis.
The Argentina striker netted three against Espanyol two weeks ago and scored another treble against Chile while away on international duty, and has now taken his league tally to eight this season.
The 23-year-old opened the scoring at the Bernabeu in the 46th minute before Kaka doubled the home side's lead.
Betis briefly threatened a fightback when Jorge Molina pulled a goal back, but Higuain struck twice more to complete his hat-trick and keep Madrid within a point of Barca.
Real Mallorca enjoyed a dramatic start to life under new coach Joaquin Caparros after snatching a 1-1 draw against Valencia with a last-minute penalty.
Valencia looked certain to claim all three points after taking the lead through Adil Rami in the 38th minute.
But the home side refused to throw in the towel and were rewarded for their persistence in the dying moments when Mehmet Topal was penalised for handball.
Striker Tomer Hemed accepted responsibility for the spot-kick and calmly slotted into the bottom corner to delight the majority of the 15,000-strong crowd.
Getafe and Villarreal did little to improve their disappointing starts to the season with a dire goalless draw on Saturday evening.
Villarreal looked the more dangerous after snuffing out the hosts' promising start, but both sides desperately lacked a cutting edge.
Struggling Granada played out a goalless stalemate with Atletico Madrid in the day's late kick-off at Los Carmenes.