Barcelona ensured they will end the year sitting top of the table by strolling to a comfortable 2-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday, inspired by another superb display from Lionel Messi.
Messi played a pivotal role in Ousmane DembÃ©lÃ© opening the scoring against the Galicians in the 10th minute, firing a shot at goal which Celtaâs Ruben Blanco could only parry at the feet of the French forward, who squeezed the rebound through the goalkeeperâs legs.
The Argentina striker then scored a sixth goal in three La Liga games to stretch his sideâs advantage on the stroke of half-time, latching on to a pass from Jordi Alba and producing an irresistible finish beyond Blanco just as he entered the area.
Celta had conceded 18 goals in their previous four visits to the Nou Camp and although they fared better in defence this time, they struggled to cause BarÃ§a many problems, particularly after Spain international and top scorer Iago Aspas went off injured early in the second half.
Barca lead the standings on 37 points, three ahead of second-placed AtlÃ©tico Madrid, who beat Espanyol 1-0 thanks to an Antoine Griezmann penalty, and six clear of Sevilla who play against Leganes on Sunday.
Franck RibÃ©ry scored twice for Bayern Munich as they beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 on Saturday to climb to second place, six points behind the Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund at the start of the winter break.
The 35-year-old Frenchman tapped in his first goal in the 35th minute and added another in the 79th to take his tally to four goals in four league matches, with club bosses recently saying this was his last season at Bayern.
The Bavarians, who had half a dozen injured absentees, including Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez, Serge Gnabry and Mats Hummels, added a third goal with Rafinha in the 89th and are now on 36 points following their fifth straight league win.
In Serie A Juventus maintained their eight-point lead at the top with a 1-0 win over Roma in the late kick-off, Mario Mandzukic scoring the goal that keeps Juve well clear of second placed Napoli, who beat Spal 1-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Paris Saint-Germain had to wait for a breakthrough against Nantes but Kylian MbappÃ© found the target in the 68th minute to secure a 1-0 victory â their 15th win in 17 Ligue 1 games.