Neymar holds fort for Messi as Ronaldo sets goal scoring record in Bernabeu.

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Brazilian Neymar assured Barcelonians that Messi’s absence won’t be heavily felt as he produced a spectacular performance to ensure that Barcelona did not miss the injured Lionel Messi, scoring four to help the European champions come from behind to beat Rayo Vallecano 5-2 on Saturday.

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Javi Guerra had given Rayo a shock lead at the Camp Nou, but Neymar twice converted from the penalty spot after he had been brought down to give the hosts a half-time lead. The Brazilian then struck twice in a minute after the break and teed up Luis Suarez to rifle home a fifth before Jozabed pulled a goal back for Rayo as Barça got back to winning ways after a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla last time out.

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Although Real Madrid lead Barça on goal difference at the top of the table after Cristiano Ronaldo became the Spanish giants’ all-time leading scorer in a comfortable 3-0 win over Levante earlier on Saturday.

At the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo struck his 324th goal for Madrid in just his 310th game in between strikes from Marcelo and Jese Rodriguez.

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Real had to name a bench with seven academy graduates due to the absence of Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema through injury and coach Rafael Benitez was happy to secure a comfortable win in the circumstances.

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Elsewhere, Valencia got their season back on track with a comfortable 3-0 win over Malaga. Los Che are now level with Espanyol in seventh after they won 3-1 at Real Betis. Sevilla remain in the bottom half of the table as they could only manage a 1-1 draw at sixth-placed Eibar.

 

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