Half a game is all Lionel Messi needed to shake off a disappointing game against Peru for his national team in the midweek.
Used as a substitute for the first time in year, Messi scored twice as a second half to help a short-handed Barcelona win 4-1 at Getafe on Saturday as the Spanish pacesetters remained perfect through the league's opening four rounds.
With Andres Iniesta and others out with injury, Barcelona turned to Cesc Fabregas to lead the attack, and he responded by setting up Adriano for the 32nd-minute opener.
Messi went on with half an hour to play and scored a penalty in the 74th and the third goal in the 78th before David Villa, still finding his form after returning from a broken leg, joined him and scored in injury time.
The victory gave first-place Barcelona an eight-point lead over Real Madrid before its game at Sevilla, where Cristiano Ronaldo's mood will be scrutinized following his comments that he was "sad" with the club.
- Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a penalty against Getafe during their Spanish first division soccer match at Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe, near Madrid, September 15, 2012. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Barcelona's David Villa, seen here embracing Messi, also came off the bench to score in Barcelona's win. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Messi only played half of the game, after playing twice for Argentina over the past ten days. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Despite coming off almost a year of inactivity, Villa is already showing some of the form that made him one of the most feared forwards in the world. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Messi scores from the penalty spot and added another from open playre only minutes later. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Barcelona's Carles Puyol played in the first half but was substituted in the second after picking up a slight knock. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Barcelona's Christian Tello (R) and Getafe's Juan Valera challenge for the ball during. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- After a tough week, where rumors of a possible move away from Barcelona surfaced, Cesc Fabregas had an effcient game including setting up Adriano for the first goal. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara (C) is surrounded by Getafe's Alberto Lopo (R) and Pedro Leon. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS
- Barcelona's Xavi (R) and Getafe's Xavi Torres go toe-to-toe for possession.. REUTERS/Sergio Perez Photo: REUTERS