Lionel Messi returns to action following injury
Messi appeared as second half substitute in win over Getafe
Xabi Alonso signs new Real Madrid deal
Manchester City defeated West Ham 5-0 in League Cup
He’s back – Lionel Messi returned to action with his customary goal spree following a 59-day absence as Barcelona crushed Getafe 4-0 Wednesday.
Messi, who has been sidelined since November 10 with a torn hamstring, scored twice during a cameo appearance in the second half of the Spanish Cup tie.
The Argentine, who had scored 14 times in 16 appearances before his goals at the Camp Nou, has endured a frustrating season with injuries.
But he gave a brief indication of his return to fitness with a fine second individual effort.
Messi’s two goals came after Cesc Fabregas had also scored twice as Barcelona took control of the last-16 contest.
The 26-year-old, who has been named World Footballer of the Year in each of the previous four years, is hoping to retain the Ballon D’Or on January 13.
He faces strong competition from Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso ended speculation surrounding his future by signing a new two-year deal.
The 32-year-old, whose contract was set to expire in June, was reportedly courting interest from a whole host of top European clubs.
“This will continue to be my home for two more years. I am very happy to tell you. Come on Madrid!” he posted on his official Twitter account, alongside a photo of the Santiago Bernabeu.
“Real Madrid can announce the extension of Xabi Alonso’s contract, that will keep him tied to the club for two more years until June 30, 2016,” the club added in a statement on their website.
Elsewhere, Manchester City cruised to a 6-0 victory over a woeful West Ham.
City has won all 10 of its Premier League home games this season and has scored 92 goals in its 31 games so far.
While Manchester United continues to struggle under David Moyes, City is playing with a style and swagger which its rival could only dream of.
Alvaro Negredo scored a classy hat-trick, while Edin Dzeko scored twice following Yaya Toure’s effort.
West Ham, which was beaten 5-0 last weekend by Championship side Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, was blown away in emphatic fashion.
“It’s not easy to win 5-0 at home against another Premier League team,” Dzeko told Sky Sports.
“We still have to play away and this 5-0 - or 6-0, in the end - will give us the confidence for the second leg.”
The two teams will meet in the second leg at Upton Park on January 21.