Messi’s 61st goal leads Barcelona past Getafe 4-0



MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi scored his 61st goal of the season and had two assists, leading Barcelona over Getafe 4-0 night Tuesday in the Spanish league and pulling the three-time defending champions within one point of first-place Real Madrid.

Messi capped a superb exchange with Andres Iniesta with a rising shot into the top corner in the 44th minute. Messi leads the league with 39 goals, one shy of the record Cristiano Ronaldo set last season.

Messi has scored in 12 of his last 13 games, totaling 24 goals.

Alexis Sanchez scored in 13th and 73rd minutes and Pedro Rodriguez in the 75th as Barcelona won its 10th straight league game.

Real Madrid can restore its four-point lead by winning at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.