Barca warm up for Chelsea by hitting Real for six

Thierry Henry found some of his old Arsenal form last night as Barcelona recorded a stunning 6-2 victory over Real Madrid here to put the Spanish title beyond doubt.

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink learned very little he did not already know – basically, that if you give Pep Guardiola's team time and space, they will destroy you.

Henry returns to London on Wednesday having just played his best game in a Barcelona shirt since he left the Emirates. Madrid scored the first goal of a bewildering night through Higuain but it only served to wake up the Spanish league leaders.

Henry, who was tormenting Sergio Ramos down the Barcelona left, got the first goal on 18 minutes from Lionel Messi's pass. He then skipped past Lassana Diarra and was fouled by Arjen Robben. Xavi took the resulting free-kick and Carles Puyol headed in the second. Messi made it three after Xavi robbed Diarra.

Real tried to knock Barcelona out of their stride and when Ramos scored on 56 minutes they looked back in it. But Barcelona's reply was instant with Xavi sending Henry clear to score his second. With half an hour remaining Henry was replaced by Seydou Keita having left Barca seven points clear at the top. The brilliant Messi added his second and Barca's fifth before Pique, astonishingly, made it six.

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