An Alexis Sanchez brace helped Barcelona to a 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday which reduced Real Madrid's lead to three points and showed they will not give up their title without a fight.

Alexis Sanchez

Barca were given a quick chance to respond to their 1-0 away defeat to Getafe at the weekend as this fixture was brought forward due to the Catalan side's involvement in the Club World Cup next month in Japan, and they ran out resounding victors.

Barcelona started nervously until Sanchez gave them the lead after 28 minutes and then before the break the Chilean again and David Villa gave them a commanding advantage. Lionel Messi made it 4-0 in the second half.

"Alexis (Sanchez) isn't a striker but he also can do this job which helps us a lot," said Guardiola. "He was injured for a while but before that he was very useful and then coming back he needed a bit of time. I have to congratulate him for his performance."