Lionel Messi passed 300 Primera División goals as Barcelona extended their lead at the top to six points with a 3-1 victory over Sporting Gijón.
It took Messi 25 minutes to reach the landmark, and six minutes later he made it 301, with Luis Suárez putting a missed penalty behind him to add the third in the second half.
Gijón had briefly levelled matters through Carlos Castro and gave a good account of themselves, with Iván Cuéllar producing several good saves, including from Suárez’s spot-kick.
Luis Enrique grew up as a Sporting fan and said before the match that if their record 30-match unbeaten run was to end, he would want it to do so at El Molinón. But that never looked likely to happen, and Cuéllar produced his first fine save in the 21st minute to deny Suárez after he had been played through by Neymar.
Four minutes later Cuéllar was beaten as Messi dropped his shoulder and cut in from the right before finding the bottom corner from 20 yards. Sporting had looked dangerous on the break and it took them only two minutes to draw level, Álex Menéndez playing a precision ball across the box for Castro to slide in and convert.
But four minutes later Messi struck again, finishing high into the net after an intelligent cutback from Suárez. It was nearly three almost immediately but Cuéllar denied Messi a hat-trick and then earned some luck as Neymar’s follow-up hit the post.
Cuéllar blotted his copybook by bringing down Suárez to concede a penalty but made amends with a fine save. After their headline-grabbing penalty at the weekend, when Messi passed for Suárez to score, Barça took the conventional route this time only to be denied.
Suárez did not have to wait long for a goal, though, and this time it was all his own work as he curled home a sublime finish.
Cuéllar prevented a fourth with another save from Neymar but the visitors had done more than enough to move six points ahead of Atlético Madrid.