Spanish La Liga
Barcelona5Espanyol1

Barcelona 5-1 Espanyol

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Barcelona
Messi now has 19 goals in 19 appearances this season

Lionel Messi matched Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo with a hat-trick this weekend as Barcelona returned to second in La Liga with victory over Espanyol.

The 27-year-old struck either side of half-time with two typically well-taken finishes to put his side ahead after Sergio Garcia's solo goal had given the visitors a surprise early lead.

After Messi's second, Barca took charge with Gerard Pique heading their third.

Pedro scored a fourth before Messi had the last word by completing the rout.

Messi's three goals - the first a pinpoint finish from the edge of the box, the second a side-foot strike after he had controlled Luis Suarez's pass and the third a tap-in following a one-two with Pedro - took him to 256 goals in La Liga in 291 appearances.

They also took him past the 200 goal mark in Spain's top flight since the 2009 arrival at Real Madrid of Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored his own 200th goal as part of a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday night.

Ronaldo's treble was a record 23rd in La Liga, but Messi is not far behind, having now notched up his 21st in the competition.

Ronaldo still leads the goalscoring charts for this season with 29 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions (and a stunning 23 in 13 in la Liga), with Messi having now scored 20 in 19 games this campaign, 13 of which have come in the league.

Barca were once again indebted to their Argentine forward for turning the game around after Garcia had charged forward to slot Espanyol into a 13th-minute lead and give them hope of a famous victory at the home of their local rivals.

However, having claimed the lead, Barca kicked on and Pique's header from a corner and substitute Pedro's drilled finish from Jordi Alba's pass swung the game decisively in their favour before Messi added the gloss.

Real's win (their Spanish record-equalling 18th in succession in all competitions) took them five points clear of their great rivals overnight.

But Barca's victory means the gap is now back to two points, with reigning champions Atletico Madrid two points behind Luis Enrique's side in third.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 13Bravo
  • 22Dani Alves
  • 3Piqué
  • 14Mascherano
  • 18Alba
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forIniestaat 65'minutes
  • 5BusquetsSubstituted forMathieuat 82'minutes
  • 6Xavi
  • 10Messi
  • 9L SuárezSubstituted forPedroat 70'minutes
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 7Pedro
  • 8Iniesta
  • 12Rafinha
  • 21Adriano
  • 24Mathieu
  • 31El Haddadi

Espanyol

  • 13Casilla
  • 23ArbillaBooked at 79mins
  • 22González SoberónBooked at 69mins
  • 30BaillySubstituted forGonzález Casanovaat 83'minutes
  • 18Fuentes Hernández
  • 17VázquezBooked at 52mins
  • 14CañasSubstituted forMorenoat 60'minutes
  • 6Sevilla LópezBooked at 29mins
  • 4Sánchez Mata
  • 9García de la Fuente
  • 20CaicedoSubstituted forStuaniat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Álvarez Delgado
  • 8Stuani
  • 10González Casanova
  • 15Moreno
  • 16López Rodríguez
  • 19Colotto
  • 25López
Referee:
Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
Attendance:
76,057

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamEspanyol
Possession
Home79%
Away21%
Shots
Home15
Away3
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home6
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 5, Espanyol 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 5, Espanyol 1.

Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Sergio García (Espanyol).

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Dani Alves is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Abraham replaces Eric Bailly.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Jeremy Mathieu replaces Sergio Busquets.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 5, Espanyol 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Pedro.

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Salva Sevilla (Espanyol).

Booking

Anaitz Arbilla (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 4, Espanyol 1. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

Attempt missed. Xavi (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

Christian Stuani (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Christian Stuani replaces Felipe Caicedo.

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Pedro replaces Luis Suárez.

Booking

Álvaro González (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Álvaro González (Espanyol).

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

Lucas Vázquez (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Jordi Alba (Barcelona).

Lucas Vázquez (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Hand ball by Salva Sevilla (Espanyol).

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Héctor Moreno replaces José Cañas.

Offside, Barcelona. Sergio Busquets tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Eric Bailly.

Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Dani Alves.

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

Corner, Espanyol. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 3, Espanyol 1. Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Fuentes.

Booking

Lucas Vázquez (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid14120251123936
2Barcelona1411123672934
3Atl Madrid14102227121532
4Sevilla149232517829
5Valencia1474325131225
6Villarreal147342314924
7Malaga147341714324
8Celta Vigo145541716120
9Ath Bilbao145361215-318
10Rayo Vallecano145271625-917
11Eibar134451419-516
12Espanyol143561522-714
13Getafe134271018-814
14Real Sociedad143471520-513
15Granada14266823-1512
16Levante133371028-1812
17Almería13247915-610
18Córdoba141761122-1110
19Dep La Coruña142481224-1210
20Elche142481229-1710
View full Spanish La Liga table

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