Lionel Messi’s sensational form continued Sunday with his second consecutive Liga hat-trick as Barcelona rejoined leaders Real Madrid at the top following a 4-2 win at Real Zaragoza.
Doubtful for the trip with a tooth abscess, Messi followed up his treble against Valencia last weekend with yet another three-goal haul, taking his tally to 25 strikes in 24 league outings and ten goals in his last four matches in all competitions.
After scoring twice against Stuttgart in the Champions League in midweek, it took Messi only 5 minutes to find the back of the net against Real Zaragoza.
The Argentina forward’s second was a thrilling solo effort in the 66th minute, and he rounded off another memorable performance with a left-footed shot 12 minutes later. Substitute Adrián Colunga gave the hosts hope with a late double, only for Zlatan Ibrahimović to convert from the spot in added time. Josep Guardiola’s charges trail frontrunners Madrid on goal difference.
Valencia strengthened their hold on a UEFA Champions League berth thanks to a match-winning performance from David Silva at home against Almería. The midfielder set up Spanish international team-mate Juan Mata (63) before securing victory for the UEFA Europa League quarter-finalists seven minutes later, finding the net while laying on the ground.