MADRID: Double champions Real Madrid kept up the pressure on Barcelona in the Spanish title race defeating Recreativo Huelva 1-0 on Saturday to stay six points behind their arch rivals.

Brazilian Marcelo scored three minutes into the second half to sink Recre as Real made it 15 wins from 17 league matches under coach Juande Ramos.

"We are still hanging in there and keep fighting for every three points," said Marcelo.

"We just have to hope Barca drop some points. I think Sevilla could do us a favour this week (the two sides meet on Wednesday) and get at least a draw at Barcelona."

The problem for Real is Barcelona are also winning week-in, week-out and triumphed 1-0 at Getafe on Saturday thanks to Lionel Messi's 20th goal of the season.

Argentine Messi netted on 19 minutes to seal Barcelona's first win at bogey side Getafe since 2005 and the victory means Pep Guardiola's side have now defeated every team in the top-flight this season.

"It is another important win and each one gives us more confidence," said Guardiola. "We have to pick up some silverware this season and we are working on that.

"The players know what they want to achieve and the way they are approaching things shows they want to win trophies."

Real lost 2-0 at Barcelona in mid-December to fall 12 points behind, but have dropped just two points in 2009 to close that gap to six and the two sides meet at the beginning of May in 'El Clasico' at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real almost scored in the ninth minute with Arjen Robben showing a great turn of pace to race past several backpedalling Recre players but goalkeeper Asier Riesgo was on hand to stop his shot.

Robben and Riesgo had a personal battle throughout the match with the keeper denying the Dutch international a hat-trick with three point blank saves.

Raul hit the post in the first half but it was the unlikely figure of Marcelo who found the net racing onto Fernando Gago's diagonal ball before slotting home just after half-time.

Real now face Getafe, four points from safety, on Wednesday while Barcelona host Sevilla.

Barcelona had lost their last two visits to the Coliseum, including a painful 4-0 thrashing in the 2007 Kings Cup semi-final, but Messi's goal, coupled with a sixth consecutive cleansheet for Victor Valdes, who notched up his 300th club appearance, brought that sequence to an end.

After just five minutes Thierry Henry should have put Barcelona in front but Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic produced a brilliant save to deny him.

Barcelona were on top and the goal arrived in the 19th minute with Messi showing great control to gather a Xavi pass and then kept his cool in the area jinking around two defenders before firing home.

Getafe know all about Messi as they were on the receiving end of his wonder goal in the Kings Cup semi-final when he dribbled from the half way line, dancing around four defenders before rounding the goalkeeper to score a brilliant solo goal.

Stojkovic, on loan from Sporting Lisbon, had an inspired game to keep his side in the match against a rampant Barca.

"It felt like they had more players," admitted Getafe coach Victor Munoz.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid climbed above Valencia into fourth with Argentine Ever Banega, who is actually on loan from Valencia, on target in a 3-0 win over lowly Numancia.

Valencia, level on points with Atletico, host third-placed Sevilla on Sunday in the standout fixture of the weekend.

Villarreal, a point behind both sides, travel to Valladolid aiming to get back to winning ways after losing three out of their last four league matches and exiting the Champions League to Arsenal in midweek.