Barcelona have equalled Real Sociedad's 28-year-old league record, going 38 games unbeaten thanks to a 3-1 victory over Leganes at the Nou Camp on Saturday (Apr 7). However, unlike Real who failed to win the league in the 1979/80 season, Barcelona stayed on course for a 25th La Liga title.
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as runaway leaders Barcelona equalled the La Liga record of 38 games unbeaten with victory over Leganes. Messi curled home a fantastic 30-yard free-kick before latching onto Philippe Coutinho's through ball to make it 2-0.
Nabil el Zhar pulled one back but Messi scored from Ousmane Dembele's pass to complete a 45th career hat-trick. Barca, who are seven games from an unbeaten La Liga season, are now 12 points above Atletico Madrid.
They equalled Real Sociedad's record of 38 matches unbeaten across 1978-79 and 1979-80 - and are now targeting becoming the first team to go unbeaten in a 38-game season in Spain's top flight.
Atletico can narrow the gap back to nine points when they visit Real Madrid on Sunday (Apr 8).
Barca are next in action on Wednesday at Roma in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, defending a 4-1 advantage from the first leg at the Nou Camp.
Messi's free-kick means he is the first player to score from outside the box in six consecutive La Liga games since at least 2003-04 - when Opta started recording detailed statistics.