La Liga wrap: Revenge for Barca as Gijon show form

Barcelona inflicted payback on Hercules with a 3-0 victory on Saturday that put them seven points clear on top of the La Liga table.

The Catalans fell to a shock 2-0 loss to Hercules at the Camp Nou earlier this campaign, but made no such mistake on the return fixture with Pedro netting the opener two minutes before half-time before Argentina star Lionel Messi scored two late goals to cement victory.

Sporting Gijon picked up their third straight victory – and just their first away win for the season – with a runaway 4-0 result over Mallorca.

Spaniard Diego Castro opened the scoring in the third minute before an own goal to Mallorca defender Kevin doubled Gijon’s advantage in the second half.

Castro’s Portuguese namesake, known just as Castro, scored one minute after being substituted before Nacho Novo finished the rout with a goal in the 87th minute.

Real Zaragoza won their third consecutive match, beating Malaga 2-1 away.

Levante won their first league match in seven with a 2-0 triumph over the out-of-form Getafe, who are without a win in their past six league affairs.

Real Sociedad kept Almeria in the relegation zone with a 2-0 result over the league strugglers thanks to goals from Jon Ansotegui and Raul Tamudo.

In the late kick-off, Deportivo La Coruna saved face with a late strike to Laure to salvage a 3-3 draw against Sevilla.

Deportivo had led 2-0 after 62 minutes, and Sevilla were with 10 men for most of the second half after goalkeeper Andres Palop saw red prior to the hour mark, but the sixth-placed outfit fought back to stun the hosts to lead 3-2.

Negredo scored a brace, while Julien Escude also netted to take the lead with a little over 10 minutes remaining.

But Laure denied the visitors a fairytale victory, hitting a forceful strike at substitute goalkeeper Javi Varas, who could only deflect the ball into his own net.