Barcelona set a new Spanish record for consecutive matches unbeaten on Thursday after they beat Rayo Vallecano 5-1 to seal their 35th successive result without defeat, eclipsing the 34-game run previously held by Real Madrid.
Barcelona's official Twitter account confirmed news of the club's most recent victory, and the accomplishment adds further ammunition to claims that we could be witnessing the best Blaugrana team in history:
FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona
🏆 A new record: 35 games unbeaten! https://t.co/K0rQV1iJpm #FCBLive #RayoFCB https://t.co/5P7MhMmcfU2016-3-3 22:00:54
Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick and Ivan Rakitic and Arda Turan also got on the scoresheet, as Rayo never troubled the Catalans. Manucho scored for the hosts.
El Clasico rivals Real Madrid held the previous record for 27 years, having gone 34 matches unbeaten across all competitions in the 1988-89 campaign under Dutch manager Leo Beenhakker.
Thursday's result also provided manager Luis Enrique's men with their 29th victory in all competitions since October 3, 2015, when they last suffered defeat after falling 2-1 away to Sevilla.
Barca tied Real's record after coming from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 last Sunday. Following that win, Enrique said securing the record would mean nothing without silverware at the end of the tunnel, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan: "I have a long time yet before the grandkids, don't scare me with that, my children are still young. But this run will mean zero, unless we win trophies [at the end of the season]."
Corrigan noted that the victory over Sevilla also secured revenge for their defeat five months ago and meant that Barcelona reinstated complete dominance over the rest of La Liga:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Barca’s 34 game unbeaten run now includes all 19 of the other La Liga teams.2016-2-28 21:21:01
Last season's treble winners are within reaching distance of another clean sweep of trophies this season as they lead the Primera Division by eight points. Enrique's side will also face Sevilla in the final of this season's Copa del Rey and claimed a 2-0 lead over Arsenal in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 tie.
The Catalan powerhouse may feel there are some legs left in their streak, too.
Barca travel to Eibar on Sunday before hosting Getafe and Arsenal, but a trip to Villarreal in late March followed by an El Clasico clash against Real at the start of April promises to test the resolve of Spain's new record holders.