Barcelona have moved six points clear on top after an impressive thrashing of Deportivo La Coruna at the Camp Nou ahead of their weekend clash with Real Madrid.
Luis Suarez and Paulinho scored twice each, while Lionel Messi who failed to score hit a hat-trick of shots against the woodwork and eventually missed a penalty.
Barcelona began to rack up the chances with both Messi and Aleix Vidal, on for the injured Paco Alcacer, forcing Ruben into increasingly spectacular stops.
Eventually Barcelona unlocked the defence with a beautiful move that even Ruben could do nothing about. Andres Iniesta’s lifted a through-ball to Messi, with the Deportivo defence caught found wanting, the Argentine unselfishly squared for Suarez who tapped in.
Messi struck the bar and then the post, although Paulinho was there to follow up and tuck home on the second occasion to double Barcelona’s lead.
Barcelona will now face Real Madrid during the weekend in a match this their last match for the year before the Christmas break.