Barcelona’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Real Mallorca earned the Catalan club their 14th successive league win and took them within one match of equalling the league record for consecutive victories.

“It wasn’t the best football we have played this season but there are sometimes nights like this,” said Barca coach Frank Rijkaard.

“Mallorca didn’t give us many chances but we didn’t lose the ball very often and that was good enough.”

Two goals from Argentinian teenager Lionel Messi after an opener by Ludovic Giuly, moved them to within one win of equalling the league record of 15 consecutive victories.

Real Madrid hold that record in the 1960-61 season but Barca will match their arch-rivals if they beat Atletico Madrid in the Nou Camp next Sunday.

The win over Mallorca extended Barcelona’s lead at the top of the table, after second-placed Valencia had to settle for a point with a 2-2 draw with Real Zaragoza.

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