Messi's opportunistic brace of second-half goals showcased his speed and alertness as he twice pounced on loose balls to punish the home defense. Samuel Eto'o had give the Catalans a 1-0 halftime lead with a fierce shot. "In the first half we moved too much, we made too many useless passes," said Barca coach Pep Guardiola. "After halftime we were a bit more patient and played a lot better. We've taken another major step forward in getting the three points against a great team and great fans."
Getafe, having broken Barcelona's winning streak at the Camp Nou the previous weekend, went one better by beating reigning champion Real Madrid 3-1 on two goals from Uruguayan striker Juan Angel Albin, and one from Ikechukwe Icher, answered only by a consolation strike from Javier Saviola. Real's injured list includes Ruud van Nistelrooy, Gonzalo Higuain, Fabio Cannavaro and Arjen Robben, apparently causing coach Bernd Schuster to throw in the towel before the game even started.
"This defeat doesn't hurt that much because it was obvious from the start that it would be difficult to win here," said Schuster. "I never felt victory would be ours. There's nothing we can do about the injuries we sustain. Getafe was superior to us. They played spectacularly well and I think they could have even scored more goals. It is harder to prepare for such a complicated encounter when you also play a game during the week."
Real dropped to fourth, overtaken by Villarreal and Valencia. The latter beat Real Betis Sevilla 3-2 at home after the visitors came back from 2-0 down, and Valencia lost Carlos Marchena to a red card. Ruben Baraja scored the winner. Villarreal won 2-1 at last-placed Recreativo Huelva on goals from Santi Cazorla and Ariel Ibagaza. Altidore was subbed out with 11 minutes remaining and his side 2-0 up.
Diego Forlan and Atletico Madrid punished Racing Santander for taking the lead through an early penalty from Mohammed Tchite. Forlan hit the net three times, while his precocious Argentine strike partner Sergio Aguero scored the other in Atlético's 4-1 win. Forlan now has eight goals this campaign, despite missing six games through injury, while Aguero has five to add to the three he's scored in the Champions League. Atletico is sixth, ahead of Deportivo La Coruna (1-0 winner at Almeria) on goal difference.
Fernando Llorente scored twice for Bilbao as it beat Numancia 2-0. Valladolid topped Mallorca 3-0, while Malaga and Osasuna shared six second-half goals, Malaga surviving an Osasuna two-goal comeback to win 4-2. Albert Luque won the game with a breathtakingly exquisite lob.
Goals scored weekend Nov 29-30: 33 in 10 games (3.3 per game)
Goals scored season 2008-09: 370 in 130 games (2.85 per game)