The Argentinian went one better than great rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick earlier in the evening as he was part of a Barca side who utterly outclassed woefully inferior opposition.
His second was his 200th goal in the Primera Division, another landmark feat in his ever-growing list of achievements.
The fourth brought his total in the league this term to 33 and he is on track to match last season’s barely-believable 50. Seventeen more are needed from 17 games; only for Messi would that be considered simple.
Pedro was also on target for the Catalans, while Raoul Loe briefly levelled for Osasuna before Alejandro Arribas’ sending-off after 27 minutes made their task an almost impossible one.
The win preserved Barca’s convincing lead over at the top of the Primera Division, while Osasuna remained in relegation danger.
Real Madrid set aside their off-field distractions to sweep aside Getafe 4-0. Ronaldo took centre stage for Jose Mourinho’s side as he fired in a second-half hat-trick after Sergio Ramos’ opener to take his tally in the league this season to 21 from as many games.
The display will go some way to improving the mood in the Madrid camp, after a week spent denying allegations of a rift between Mourinho and a group of key players at the Bernabeu.
Mourinho at least was unable to court further controversy after club captain Iker Casillas, who has been dropped by the coach in some recent games, was ruled out with a broken hand that is likely to see him sidelined for up to three months.
Antonio Adan was therefore able to take his place in goal without any disgruntlement from Madrid’s fans ringing in his ears, although in truth Mourinho could have played between the sticks himself, such was Madrid’s dominance.
Second-placed Atletico Madrid crashed 3-0 at Athletic Bilbao last night.
In Germany, Mario Mandzukic scored one and set up another as runaway leaders Bayern Munich increased their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to 11 points with a 2-0 victory at Stuttgart last night.
Bayern now have 48 points to lead comfortably from second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who could only draw against Freiburg on Saturday.
In Italy, Edinson Cavani struck a late winner as Napoli took full advantage of Juventus’ slip on Saturday to close back to within three points of the Serie A pacesetters with a 2-1 victory over Parma. Paolo Cannavaro’s 75th-minute own goal cancelled out Marek Hamsik’s first-half opener but Cavani raced clear to notch the winner and inflict a first home league defeat on Parma since March.
Juve’s recent blip in form continued as they were surprisingly held 1-1 at home by relegation-threatened Genoa, while Lazio lost 1-0 at home to Chievo.
In France, Lyon’s 2-0 win at Valenciennes on Friday asked a question of the other two clubs in the title race — but while Marseille could only draw 2-2 at Rennes on Saturday, PSG regained top spot thanks to a 1-0 win over Lille.