Lionel Messi hat-trick gives Barcelona 4-0 win over Granada to move top of La Liga table
Neymar scored the fourth goal to move level with Luis Suarez at the top of the goalscoring charts
A hat-trick from Lionel Messi saw Barcelona beat Granada 4-0 to move to the top of the Spanish La Liga table having played the same number of games as Atletico Madrid. Neymar also got on the scoresheet to give Luis Enrique’s side a comfortable victory before they take on Espanyol in the second leg of the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Bravo, Vidal, Pique, Vermaelen, Alba, Roberto, Rakitic, Turan, Messi, Neymar, Suarez
Granada (4-3-3): Andres, Mendez, Lomban, Doria, Biraghi, Krhin, Perez, Agbo, Rochina, Ajayi, Penaranda
First Half: Messi scores twice in early stages
Barcelona took little time to get going and put Granada on the backfoot straight away. And their constant pressure saw them take the lead as early as the eighth minute. It was Lionel Messi who started the move and finished it. Suarez was also involved and his dummy allowed Arda Turan to pick the ball on the left and his pass was laid on a plate for Messi who took his shot first time to find the back of the net.
Messi was on the scoresheet minutes later as the trio of MSN combined to score the second goal. Neymar picked out Luis Suarez from the left flank with a cross right across the box but instead of controlling and taking a shot himself, Suarez’s first touch,a volley, put the ball into the path of Messi who scored from the near post.
The Argentine forward almost go his hat-trick but for Granada defender Doria stepping in. MSN were at it again and Neymar managed to release Suarez but, again, instead of going for goal, Suarez tried to tee up Messi for a tap in. But Doria managed to get in the way and deny Messi his hat-trick. Ultimately, Granada managed to hold on till half-time going into the break two goals down.
Half-time: Barcelona 2-0 Granada
Second Half: Messi completes his 25th La Liga hat-trick
This was Messi’s night and there was no denying him his hat-trick. Less than 15 minutes into the second half, Messi completed his hat-trick – his first of the season and his 25th in La Liga.
Sergi Roberto found Neymar with a superb pass and the Brazilian forward had taken a shot which came off the post. But Messi was at the right place at the right time to ensure Luis Enrqiue’s side made it 3-0.
However, Neymar was not to be denied his goal and, sure enough, he got it in the 83rd minute. Messi turned creator for the fourth goal with a pass to Dani Alves before making a run. Alves found Suarez who tried to tee up Messi but the Argentine forward knew he was offside and let the ball go past him for Neymar to score near the far post. The goal was his 15th in the league this season – level with Suarez at the top of the Liga goalscoring charts.
Suarez was unlucky to not get on the scoresheet. But Enrique’s side saw off the game without conceding a goal to move top of La Liga until Atletico Madrid play tomorrow night.