Monday, 23 April, 2018

Messi Hat-Trick Helps Barca Equal All-Time LaLiga Record

Lionel Messi scored his third hat-trick of the season as Barcelona equalled the longest unbeaten run in La Liga Lionel Messi scored his third hat-trick of the season as Barcelona equalled the longest unbeaten run in La Liga
Betsy Taylor | 11 April, 2018, 13:54

The 20-year-old arrived at a hefty price tag of around €105 million from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund to the Camp Nou last summer and has received quite a fair share of criticism regarding his performances and fitness.

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.

Barcelona have won 24 and drawn just seven of their league matches this season and, with Saturday's result, are now 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid in the table, with Diego Simeone's side facing a Madrid derby on Sunday as the game they hold in hand. "This unbeaten record has not only been achieved this season, but also previous year under (former coach) Luis Enrique", said Barca coach Valverde.

"It's a shared record which has been carried on from one season. It has been quite hard, because of the fact it's an old record that hasn't been broken for a long time". But the hosts moved in front in the 27th minute through a trademark Messi free-kick. Coutinho raced infield and delivered an inch-perfect pass which the Argentina worldwide took in his stride while holding off two defenders before sending a left-footed strike into the bottom corner from 15 yards. Messi doubled Barcelona's lead five minutes later to give his side a 2-0 lead at the break. Barcelona eased off in the second half, perhaps with the midweek clash at the Stadio Olimpico on their minds, and Leganes hit back midway through the second half.

Barcelona: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen 6 (out of 10), Nelson Semedo 6, Gerard Pique 6, Thomas Vermaelen 6, Sergi Roberto 5, Andre Gomes 5, Ivan Rakitic 6, Philippe Countinho 6, Ousmane Dembele 7, Luis Suarez 6, Lionel Messi 9.


"It's what I've always done and if I can do it with goals, even better".

"It's been hard to achieve".

"He's doing well and we saw that tonight. He's a player who wants to be active because he's the best, but we have to talk after training".

Barca are next in action on Wednesday at Roma in the Champions League quarter-final second leg, defending a 4-1 advantage from the first leg at the Nou Camp.

Betis temporarily at least, moved into fifth place with a 2-0 home victory over Eibar thanks to Sergio Leon's 11th goal of the season and an own goal from Anaitz Arbilla.

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