september 15, 2012 • 04:18 PM • last update 04:51 PM

Barcelona pummels Getafe 4-1 with supersub Messi

Lionel Mess celebrates one of his two second half goals in a game where he didn't play the first half.
Foto: AP in English

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.