Barcelona cut the gap to Real Madrid at the top of La Liga to a solitary point following a routine victory over Getafe at Camp Nou.

Alexis Sanchez scored twice, while Pedro also got on the score sheet along with Lionel Messi, who netted his 61st goal of an incredible season.

Having clawed back the margin at the top of La Liga from the 10 points it stood at a few weeks ago, following their 4-1 victory over Real Zaragoza and Real Madrid's draw with Valencia, Barcelona began eager not to let their good work go to waste.

But Getafe also had plenty to play for, as they started the match just one point off a Europa League place.

Barcelona made several changes to their lineup with Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andres Iniesta coming back into the midfield.

And the home side began like a side desperate to keep their momentum in the league going as they opened the scoring after just 13 minutes.

Lionel Messi chested the ball down to Alexis Sanchez on the edge of the box before the Chilean forward took the ball inside and side-footed a delightful shot high into the net past Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya.

Barcelona thought they had doubled their lead in the 17th minute when Xavi dinked a delightful shot with the outside of his right foot over Moya, but Getafe defender Cata Diaz did well to get back and clear the ball off the line.

But Barcelona did not have to wait much longer for another goal as Messi made it 2-0 with a typically brilliant goal just before half time. The little Argentinian supplying a pass to Iniesta on the edge of the box, who played a beautiful first time flick back into Messi's path. From there Messi took a touch forward before firing the ball high into the net with his wondrous left foot.

The result was put beyond doubt when Sanchez grabbed his second goal of the game after 73 minutes. Isaac Cuenca raced down the right before producing a perfect cross for Sanchez to rise and head home back across the goalkeeper.

And just two minutes later it was 4-0. This time a free-kick from Messi from the right was expertly flicked into the far corner by the head of Pedro at the near post.