Barcelona forward Neymar's chipped goal against Celta Vigo

Lionel Messi was in inspired form as champions Barcelona hammered Celta Vigo 5-0 on Saturday, recording a fourth straight league victory which keeps them top of La Liga.

The Argentine opened the scoring with a sublime solo effort after 24 minutes but left fans puzzled with his gesture as he walked back to the centre circle.

Barcelona added a third goal in the 57th minute as Rafinha Alcantara's touch teed up Ivan Rakitic, who calmly slotted under Alvarez.

Luis Enrique told reporters after the Celta game that Barca possessed the capabilities to become the first side to overturn a four-goal deficit in the Champions League when they host PSG in the second leg on March 15. Look at this assist here, and watch his run to get the ball.

Earlier, Real defeated Eibar 4-1 at Ipurua.

After their first-half goals, both strikers contributed to Rakitic's score.

But Barca were in no mood to settle for that and Neymar made it 2-0 in the 40th minute with a terrific piece of individual skill. He then turned provider before the half-hour mark as he set up James to finish off a clinical counter-attack, and the Frenchman's brilliant pass then also began the move which lead to Asensio's second-half strike.

Barca bolstered their La Liga tally to 60 points from 26 matches - a point more than their arch-rivals, who have a game in hand.

Elsewhere, on-loan Darwin Machis scored a late winning goal against parent club Granada as Leganes moved five points clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory.

  • Julie Sanders