Barca see off spirited Getafe
The visitors went into the game knowing that a win would solidify their place at the business end of the Spanish top flight after results earlier in the day went their way, but it was the home side that came out all guns blazing from the kick-off.
Ángel issued Barca a warning just six minutes in as he volleyed over following good work from Jaime Mata down the right, before Mata had the ball in the net just four minutes later as he converted a deep cross from the right at the far post, only for the goal to be chalked off for a fould by Ángel on Clement Lenglet.
It was all Getafe early doors, only for Messi to crush the wave of optimism that was spreading around the ground by opening the scoring against the run of play with 20 minutes gone.
The Argentine gambled on meeting a ball that dropped high out of the sky and got there before three Getafe players, including goalkeeper David Soria before converting from a narrow angle.
That goal gave the visitors a shot in the arm and they were a side transformed in the ensuing minutes, Soria having to be alert to deny Luis Suarez before showing impressive reactions to parry away Gerard Pique's strike.
Suarez was a growing influence in the game and after curling narrowly wide after bamboozling his marker with a neat turn he finally got his reward as he volleyed home his side's second in spectacular fashion.
A free-kick from deep on the right was only cleared as far as the Uruguayan, who sent the ball back from whence it came with interest as he found the corner with a brilliant first-time volley.
However, any overconfidence from Barca was quickly forgotten as Getafe reduced the arrears just minutes before the break.
Ángel made up for his earlier indiscretion by cushioning a deep cross from the left back across goal for Mata to tuck home from close range to bring his side back into the game.
Indeed, it was the hosts who were first to threaten after the break as Dimitri Foulquier sent Ángel in on goal in the right-hand channel after picking up a skewed clearance from Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, but the forward could only fire narrowly wide of the far post.
Messi went close to sealing the victory for Barca, the diminutive genius seeing a fierce volley well saved by Soria before Ter Stegen brilliantly kept out Leandro Cabrera's thunderous header as the hosts remained in with a shot of claiming a shock result.
Both sides missed huge chances as the game entered its final knockings, most notably when Mata somehow blazed high and wide with the whole goal to aim at having rounded Ter Stegen, before Lenglet headed wide from a corner when completely unmarked late on.
In the end Barca did enough to hold on for victory, meaning that they move five points clear of Atletico Madrid in second following their 1-1 draw with Sevilla, whilst Getafe remain seventh.