MADRID, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona celebrated the start of the Year of the Snake in fine style with a convincing 6-1 win over Getafe in the Camp Nou Stadium.
Mindful that the game kicked off at midday and that it allowed them to be broadcast at prime time in the Asian and Chinese market, the Barca players took to the pitch carrying a banner wishing their Chinese supporters a happy new year.
And in the first midday kick off in the Camp Nou in over 40 years Barca raced into a two-goal lead thanks to Alexis Sanchez, who netted his first league goal of the season as he took the ball past Getafe keeper Jordi Codina.
Leo Messi scored Barca' s second goal after 13 minutes, extending his incredible scoring run to 13 consecutive league games and the game was already in the bag.
Barca assistant coach Jordi Roaura had commented on Saturday that he was worried about how his side would react to the early kick off, but it was Getafe who were finding the going tough, although it was not until just ahead of the hour that David Villa scored the third goal of the game.
Xavi Hernandez was missing with a hamstring strain, but against a rival that never threatened their dominance, Barca hardly missed him as Thiago Alcantara filled in to perfection, meanwhile winger Christian Tello came on as a substitute and made it 4-0 with 12 minutes left.
Alvaro Vazquez scored a consolation goal following an error by defender Jordi Alba with seven minutes remaining, but that merely stirred to irritate Barca' s pride. Messi set up Andres Iniesta for a close range finish in the last minute and Gerard Pique added a sixth for Barca in injury time.
Despite the early start the Camp Nou registered its third largest attendance of the season and the fans enjoyed what was a party atmosphere as will those watching another magnificent Barca performance from their TV screens in China. If the game served to do anything it was to show that Barca will be champions this season and that their fanbase will continue to grow after a sporting and marketing triumph.