MADRID: Spain forward Pedro scored a remarkable nine-minute hat-trick as Barcelona overturned a two-goal deficit against Getafe to lead the Spanish league heading into the holiday break.
Getafe led 2-0 inside the opening 15 minutes after Sergio Escudero drilled in after a neat one-two and Lisandro Lopez powered in a free header.
But Barca, without the injured Lionel Messi and suspended Neymar, led before half-time thanks to Pedro’s treble.
Since Getafe reached the Spanish top-flight for the first time in 2004-05, Barcelona have been crowned league champions in each of the six seasons that they have previously won at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Cesc Fabregas scored twice more as the champions moved above Atletico Madrid.
Gerardo Martino’s side knew they needed to beat eighth-placed Getafe with anything other than a 1-0 win to move back ahead of Atletico, who won 3-2 against Levante on Saturday, on goal difference.
The Spanish top-flight has a two-week mid-season break over the Christmas and New Year period, with La Liga clubs returning to action on 4 January.