‘Unique’ Barcelona a ‘pleasure’ to Luis Enrique as Lionel Messi puts on masterclass

'This is a unique team, different to the rest' said Barcelona manager Luis Enrique on Saturday as Lionel Messi's sterling play spearheaded a 6-0 win over Getafe.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against Getafe in La Liga on Saturday. Manu Fernandez / AP / March 12, 2016
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Barcelona 6 Getafe 0

Barcelona Rodriguez 8' (og), El Haddadi 19', Neymar 32', 51', Messi 40', Turan 57'

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique says his side could not be in better form heading into the second-leg of their Uefa Champions League last-16 tie with Arsenal after sweeping aside Getafe 6-0 on Saturday.

The European champions already hold a 2-0 lead from the first-leg and look destined to make the quarter-finals for the ninth straight year as they have not been beaten in 37 games in all competitions stretching back to October.

“This is a unique team, different to the rest and which does things that make it seem like there is nothing the opponent can do,” Enrique said. “It is a great pleasure to be in this position.”

Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi produced another masterclass, despite missing a penalty for the third time this season, as he scored his 36th goal of the season and provided three assists.

Read more: Andy Mitten writes Cristiano Ronaldo is right about deficient rest of Real Madrid

Also see: Neymar double, Leo Messi brilliance and Arda Turan bicycle fire up Barcelona

Juan Rodriguez’s own goal opened the scoring before Barca missed from the spot for the ninth time in 20 penalties this season when Vicente Guaita parried Messi’s effort.

Messi quickly set about making amends as he teed up Munir El Haddadi and Neymar before smashing home a fourth before half time.

And Neymar and Arda Turan rounded off a 12th consecutive Primera Liga win after the break.

“The ideas and the tempo with which we started made it very difficult for Getafe because we were so precise and quick when we moved the ball,” Enrique said.

“At half time the game was already sewn up and that isn’t due to the fault of the opponents, but because at this part of the season we are in fantastic form and the whole team has a lot of confidence.”

Read more: Brazil coach prefers Barcelona star Neymar plays Olympics over Copa America if forced to choose

Enrique even had the luxury of leaving out top goalscorer Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets ahead of Arsenal’s visit on Wednesday.

“They are all incredible. The forwards, the midfielders, the defenders, those that don’t play or have fewer minutes.

“It is a perfect situation to know that whoever you pick will compete in their own way, with their own characteristics, but all of them wanting to take part and make the most of their minutes on the field.

“The only problem we have is that there aren’t enough minutes for everyone.”

Barca are on the brink of a sixth league title in eight years and defender Gerard Pique put their sustained success down to the stability in the squad over the past number of years.

“Many players have spent many years here together and we understand each other very well,” the Spanish international said.

“We can play quickly and at times without even looking at one another.

“We can still improve and for the rest of the season we need to continue winning titles.”

Zidane happy with Real Madird as they target fourth straight win

Zinedine Zidane said Real Madrid’s troubles are behind them as they go to Las Palmas on Sunday in search of a fourth straight win. When a draw at Malaga was followed by a home defeat to Atletico Madrid in late February, the issues were mounting up for Zidane as Cristiano Ronaldo publicly criticised his teammates, while fans and the media questioned the commitment of several players.

But Madrid have responded with wins over Levante, Celta Vigo and Roma, scoring 12 goals in three outings, to change the atmosphere completely.

“After three wins, everything is better – in practice, in the dressing room,” the Madrid manager said. “But we have to keep working because the games are coming and are increasingly difficult.”

With a 12-point deficit to Barcelona, Madrid’s title hopes appear to be over.

“We are in a good period, but that does not mean anything,” Zidane said. “We have to go well in all our games, prepare well and be ready to compete.”

A full squad prepared for the game, with Gareth Bale hoping to start after managing an hour against Roma on his return from injury.

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