Another hat-trick for Messi



LIONEL Messi bagged a brilliant hat-trick as Barcelona put five past Levante to re-establish their three-point advantage at the top of La Liga.

Victories for Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Sevilla over the weekend had put the pressure on Ernesto Valverde’s side to keep up their pace at the top of the table, and they did so in style as Messi turned in a performance for the ages.

It was Luis Suarez who opened the scoring following 35 minutes, finding the net from a Messi dribble and cross just moments after Levante had smashed an effort against the crossbar. Messi himself doubled the Catalans’ advantage before the break, calmly finishing after being played through by Sergio Busquets.

Messi added his second, and Barca’s third, just two minutes into the second half, guiding home a shot after being picked out by Jordi Alba, and then capped his hat-trick on the hour mark following good work by Suarez and Arturo Vidal.

Levante were reduced to 10 men when Erick Cabacao was shown a red card for bringing down Ousmane Dembele and Gerard Pique added his name to the score sheet late on to cap an impressive display from the defending champions. – Eurosport


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