Stunning Lionel Messi hat-trick sees Barcelona equal unbeaten Liga record

Barcelona

Stunning Lionel Messi hat-trick sees Barcelona equal unbeaten Liga record

In the wake of Neymar's record-breaking departure from Camp Nou in the summer of 2017, €105 million was invested in an exciting France global.

For extra motivation, the Blaugrana can reach 38 games without loss if they avoid defeat here - a run that would match Real Sociedad's national record from 1979/80. "This unbeaten record has not only been achieved this season, but also a year ago under (former coach) Luis Enrique", said Barca coach Valverde.

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The Catalans are top of La Liga with 79 points after 31 games and have a 12-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid, who visit champions Real Madrid in a local derby on Sunday. "It's a shared record, because it crossed over between seasons". It's not easy to do something that hasn't been done for such a long time.

Lionel Messi curled in from a free kick to break the deadlock in the 27th minute.

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Coutinho, whose relationship with the 30-year-old is gradually strengthening as every 90 minutes passes by, found the Pichichi leader on the edge of the area, and three touches later the ball was nestling into the back of Cuellar's net after the majestic finisher held off two Leganes defenders before dispatching his left-footed effort.

"It's what I've always done and if I can do it with goals, even better". "Looking forward to the next matches, the way he played is good news for us". Perhaps with one eye on the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Roma on Tuesday they showed little of the scintillating football they are capable of. Earlier on Saturday, Sevilla's hopes of qualifying for Europe next season took a hit with a 4-0 thumping at Celta Vigo. Real Betis moved up to fifth with a fourth straight win as they saw off Eibar 2-0, while Alaves all but secured safety by beating Getafe.

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