Lionel Messi's free kick hit the crossbar in the eighth minute. It was the 11th time a Messi shot hit woodwork this season. Jordi Alba's great run-and-cross was cleared by Rayo in the 20th minute.
David Villa got the scoring started in the 25th minute as Messi on the break found El Guaje to his left and Villa put it in the back of the net. It was Villa's eighth goal in La Liga this season.
Messi grabbed his goal in the 40th minute as Villa fed Messi, who slipped it underneath Rayo goalkeeper Ruben in his 18th consecutive game with a goal.
In the second half, Dani Alves' shot hit off the post in the 49th minute.
Messi got his second goal in the 57th minute as a corner kick for Rayo started a counterattack for Villa. El Guaje fought off a Rayo defender and found Messi. Leo had a one-on-one with Anaitz Arbilla, and his speed beat Arbilla toward the net. Messi finally lobbed the shot over Ruben for his second goal on the night. A pure golazo!
Raul Tamudo made it 3-1 thanks to his goal in the 70th minute.
Messi nearly got his hat trick in stoppage time, but his chip shot just went over the crossbar.
Final: FC Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano
Let's break down my three takeaways "From the Mind of Xoel" as Barcelona beats Rayo 3-1 on Sunday. Vamos!