La Liga Review: Wins for Barca, Real, Atletico
Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-0 La Liga win at Deportivo La Coruna, while leaders Real Madrid also won on Sunday.
Much attention prior to Barca's visit to the Riazor had been focused on discussions over Messi's future, following comments he made prior to Monday's FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony.
Messi - beaten to the award by Cristiano Ronaldo - fuelled further speculation by stating "I don't know where I'll be next year" at the gala event in Zurich.
But he showcased his skill with an excellent treble, opening his account in the 10th minute with a sublime header.
The Argentinian then rounded off a free-flowing team move in the 33rd minute before capping his 30th Barca hat-trick just after the hour mark with a fierce low drive into the bottom-right corner.
A late Sidnei own goal made it 4-0 to Barca, who remain one point adrift of Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid.
They bounced back from their Copa del Rey elimination at the hands of city rivals Atletico Madrid with a 3-0 win at Getafe.
Reigning Copa champions Real were knocked out after a 4-2 aggregate defeat, and their frustration seemed evident during a goalless first half at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Toni Kroos rattled the crossbar just before the break, though, and Real eventually found their feet in the second half, with Ronaldo tapping in the opener after good build-up work from James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema.
Rodriguez also set up the second, nodded home by Gareth Bale, before Ronaldo took his season tally to 36 to seal victory.
Atletico are four points behind Real after a 2-0 home win over managerless Granada.
Granada, bottom of the league and without a permanent coach following Joaquin Caparros' departure on Friday, made a bright start but their good work was undone 11 minutes before the break when Abdoul Sissoko fouled Diego Godin in the penalty area.
Mario Mandzukic tucked away the resultant spot-kick for his 16th goal of the season.
Mandzukic was replaced by Garcia six minutes from time, and Diego Simeone's change paid dividends four minutes later as the midfielder headed home Arda Turan's cross from the right to wrap up the three points.
Elsewhere, Carlos Bacca and Denis Suarez scored as fourth-placed Sevilla recorded a 2-0 home win over Malaga.
Sevilla are six points behind Real Madrid.
And Elche edged Levante 1-0, with Jonathas' 12th-minute strike proving crucial. Levante had David Navarro sent off in the sixth minute.