For the first time this season, Barcelona managed to win a La Liga match without their inspirational captain Xavi Hernandez. And what a win it was! Barcelona obliterated Deportivo at the Riazor with absolute ease and a top performance. Busquets, Xavi and Daniel Alves were rested, but it didn't make a difference. Their back-ups, Mascherano, Keita and Adriano showed that they're up to the challenge and that Barcelona have enough depth to compete on all fronts this season.
David Villa scored in the first half and Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Pedro Rodriguez scored in the second. As per usual, Lionel Messi stole the show, racking up another goal (this time with a free-kick) and two more assists. The Argentine genius becomes a more complete player by the day and, in only fifteen La Liga appearances, he already has 18 goals and 14 assists. In 15 matches, he created 32 goals.
Pedro and Villa also got in the scoresheet, which means that, as it stands, Barcelona's attacking trio have scored a combined 56 goals this season (28 from Messi and 14 from both Pedro and Villa), 39 of which in La Liga.
Having won 12 league matches in a row, Barcelona will have to break two different records when they face Malaga at Camp Nou next week, after breaking one today (only team in La Liga history to win all their away matches during the first half of the season). If Barcelona win, they'll break the La Liga record for most points at the end of the first half of the season, with 52 (the record belong to Barcelona 2008/2009 with 50) and, if they score at least three goals, they'll beat the La Liga record for most goals scored at the end of the first half of the season (yup, you guessed it right, this record also belong to Barcelona 2008/2009 with 59 goals).
Before breaking these records, though, Barcelona have a very important Copa del Rey match against Betis. They'll be looking to take care of business in the first leg and ensure smooth sailing to the semifinals. This match might also be an opportunity to Afellay as the Dutch might finally get some adequate playing time and show his ability to the Camp Nou.
Right now, the attention must shift to the Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday. It will a truly historic day for Barcelona, as three Barcelona players, three La Masia products, will take all three podium places in an all-Barcelona party. It's something that you just can't miss.