La Liga round up: Messi bags hat-trick, Madrid cruise to victory

By IndepthAfrica
In Soccer
Oct 21st, 2012
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BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 31: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona folds his hands during the la Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Camp Nou on March 31, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Barcelona extended their unbeaten run in La Liga to 12 matches with a remarkable 5-4 victory at Deportivo de La Coruna on Saturday.

Goals from Jordi Alba, CristianTello and Lionel Messi handed the visitors a three-goal advantage after 20 minutes before Pizzi reduced the deficit with a penalty.

Deportivo midfielder Alex Bergantinos then beat Victor Valdes with a volley from distance, and Messi brought up the sixth goal of the opening half with a low finish shortly before the break.

Pizzi grabbed his second goal with a brilliant free-kick shortly after half-time, while Barcelona lost Javier Mascherano to a second bookable offence following an altercation with Riki.

Messi completed his hat-trick with an explosive run and finish in the 77th minute, but there was more drama as Alba sent a volley past his own goalkeeper to reduce the margin to one goal.

But Barcelona held on, maintaining their position on top with seven wins and one draw.

Elsewhere, goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo earned Real Madrid a relatively comfortable 2-0 win at home to Celta Vigo.

Madrid dominated possession throughout the match, enabling Higuain and Ronaldo to find the net in what was a largely forgettable encounter at Santiago Bernabeu.

Valencia came from behind to clinch a thrilling 3-2 win at home to 10-man Athletic Bilbao.

Aduriz opened the scoring for the visitors in the 19th minute, though Valencia levelled proceedings seven minutes later when Soldado converted a penalty.

Aduriz netted his second goal in the 30th minute and Bilbao seemed on course for victory before Ander Herrera was shown a straight red card on 60 minutes.

The visitors did their best to fight off repeated attacks, but were beaten when Alberto Costa struck in the 88th minute and Nelson Haedo Valdez netted the winner in stoppage time.

Earlier, goals from Isco and Joaquin saw Malaga clinch a 2-1 come-from-behind win at home to Real Valladolid, who had goal scorer Manucho Goncalves sent off with nine minutes to go.

 

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