Barcelona found themselves 2-0 down inside 14 minutes at Getafe, but rallied for a 5-2 victory thanks to a hat-trick by Pedro.
With Neymar and Lionel Messi both unavailable, Pedro took his opportunity in the spotlight well.
The 26-year-old picked up his first goal in the 34th minute when he broke free and chipped off Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Moya’s fingertips to get Barcelona back within one.
Six minutes later he broke down the left flank and his teammates found the run. Pedro latched onto the through ball, cut back inside, and rifled across face to the far corner.
The third came just two minutes later as Jordi Alba’s cross banged off Valera’s legs and fell right to Pedro in the box, who strongly finished for his hat-trick.
Cesc Fabregas added two more in the second half and the La Liga leaders kept pace with Atletico Madrid, who beat Levante 3-2. Both teams are level on 46 points but Barcelona have a 2-goal advantage in differential.
Messi is still nursing a hamstring injury, and Neymar was suspended for yellow-card accumulation.
Argentina’s World Cup roster features a number of the usual suspects, particularly up front, but Serie A’s top goalscorer has been surprisingly left off the list of 23.
[ MORE: Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan ]
Manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad was made official on Monday, which includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.
The Albiceleste won’t be taking Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi though, which has raised some questions about the decision.
Icardi led all scorers in Italy’s top flight this season, scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A matches, while Paulo Dybala edged out the final striker spot in the Argentina squad.
Dybala is teammates with Higuain at Italian giants Juventus.
Meanwhile, six Premier League players were named into the South American nation’s squad, including goalkeepers Sergio Romero (Man United) and Willy Caballero (Chelsea), as well as Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Marcos Rojo (Man United) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham).
Rog and Davo recap a spite-fueled, snear-filled, peak Phil Jones FA Cup Final, preview this weekend’s Champions League tilt between Liverpool and Real Madrid and eulogize Big Sam… gone the opposite of too soon. Plus, World Cup rosters and MLS.
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Santi Cazorla hasn’t played a match for the Gunners since suffering a gruesome Achilles injury back in October 2016.
[ MORE: No World Cup for Spanish Chelsea trio ]
And unfortunately for the Spaniard, Cazorla won’t feature for Arsenal again after six years at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal released a statement on Monday revealing the veteran midfielder won’t return to the club in 2018/19, which isn’t unexpected given the extent of his injury.
In his time with the Gunners, Cazorla made 180 appearances in all competitions for the club, and helped Arsenal win two FA Cups.
Cazorla was also a member of the Spanish national team squads that won back-to-back UEFA EURO competitions in 2008 and 2012.
Wolfsburg managed a 1-0 win (4-1 on aggregate) over Holstein Kiel on Monday in the second leg of its German promotion playoff as the Bundesliga side kept its place in the top flight.
Robin Knoche scored the game-winner in the second leg, which ensured Wolfsburg’s stay in the Bundesliga ahead of the 2017/18 season.
The hosts boasted a number of quality chances in the first half, including David Kinsombi’s close-range shot that tested Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels with a save, however, Holstein couldn’t break through.
U.S. Men’s National Team defender John Brooks went the full 90 minutes for Wolfsburg, after the 25-year-old made nine starts this season for the German side in league play.