Barcelona survived an early scare against Getafe to emerge 5-2 winners and take top spot in La Liga for Christmas.
A nine-minute hat trick by Pedro and a double from Cesc Fabregas saw Tata Martino’s men overcome a sensational start by Getafe, who were 2-0 up after just 14 minutes following goals from Sergio Escudero and Lisandro Lopez.
The result puts Barca top of the league over Atletico Madrid on goal difference over Christmas, with Real Madrid set to face Valencia later this evening.
Getafe took a surprise lead after just 10 minutes, when Escudero latched on to Angel Lafita’s clever backheel through ball, driving into the box and powering past Pinto from a tight angle.
Incredibly Getafe doubled their lead just minutes later when Lopez planted a header from a corner kick into the Barcelona net, making it 2-0 after 14 minutes.
However, Barcelona mounted a comeback and halved the deficit through Pedro, who ran on to Fabregas’ threaded pass and lifted a half volley over Miguel Moya, who was somewhat off his line.
Sergi Roberto, who was given a start by Martino in the centre of midfield with Xavi ruled out, was presented with a glorious chance to level the score, but slashed at his shot, shooting over the bar from eight yards out at the near post.
With minutes left of the first half Pedro grabbed his second and restored parity, driving a right-footed shot into the top corner after cutting inside off the left wing.
And Pedro completed a first-half hat-trick, taking advantage of a defensive error to slot past Moya, giving Barcelona the lead at the end of the first half.
After the break Ciprian Marica passed up a chance to draw his side level again but a slip by Javier Mascherano distracted the Getafe striker, who miscontrolled the ball as it came to him in the box, allowing Pinto to smother.
Getafe continued to create chances in front of goal on the counter attack, with Diego Castro putting a side-footed shot from eight yards out wide of the far post when he really should have done better.
Fabregas gave the Catalans some breathing space with a controlled volley at the back post after an exceptional chipped pass across the face of goal by Pedro.
And Fabregas bagged his second and Barcelona’s fifth from the spot, sending Moya the wrong way from 12 yards after Pedro had been felled by Borja inside the area.