Barcelona close the gap

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The Primera Liga title race continues to look set to go down to the wire after a thrashing of Getafe provisionally moved Barcelona to within a point of leaders Real Madrid. Barcelona close the gap

Alexis Sanchez curled home a brilliant opener in the 13th minute at the Camp Nou and the prolific Lionel Messi's 39th goal in La Liga this term - his 61st in all competitions - had the hosts two up at the interval.

Two superb headers in the final quarter - from Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez - sealed Barca's 10th straight win which ensured the Catalan side kept up the pressure on Real Madrid, who visit city rivals Atletico on Wednesday night.

Pep Guardiola's champions had looked virtually out of the title race when they trailed Jose Mourinho's side by 10 points in March, but they have gradually clawed back the deficit by eking out victories while the capital club dropped points against Malaga, Villarreal and Valencia.

Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Isaac Cuenca returned to Guardiola's starting line-up after missing Saturday's 4-1 win at Real Zaragoza, with Dani Alves injured, Cesc Fabregas suspended and Thiago on the bench.

Getafe, one of only two teams to have beaten Barca this season, were on the back foot from the outset, with goalkeeper Miguel Moya called into action twice before the deadlock was broken.

He was in the right place to prevent a Miku own goal after the Getafe striker misdirected a header from Messi's dangerous centre. Moya then got down to push away an Iniesta low drive which looked to have been heading wide.

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