Monday, October 26, 2020 | ePaper

Messi hat-trick breaks La Liga record as Barca put five past Mallorca

  • Print


Barcelona's Lionel Messi controls the ball in front of Mallorca's Iddrisu Baba (left) during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Mallorca at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday.



Lionel Messi broke yet another record by hitting his 35th La Liga hat-trick on Saturday as Barcelona thrashed Real Mallorca 5-2 to keep pace with Real Madrid at the top of the table.
A trio of vintage Messi finishes contributed to five stunning Barca goals, the best of them arguably belonging to Luis Suarez, whose brilliant backheel capped a free-flowing move, involving seven different players.
"I knew I had a little gap, my last resort was to try a backheel," said Suarez.
"I was surprised," added Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. "It was an extraordinary goal."
But at the end of a week in which Messi claimed a record sixth Ballon d'Or, it was the Argentinian etching his name into the history books again after pulling clear of Cristiano Ronaldo's 34 La Liga trebles to stand alone.
"Unbelievable," said Valverde. "It was a celebration of the Ballon d'Or."
The efforts of Messi and Suarez overshadowed Antoine Griezmann's opener but that was impressive too, the Frenchman applying a sumptuous chip after being assisted by his own goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
An exhibition of creativity at Camp Nou allowed for the occasional lapse in defence and Mallorca's Ante Budimir twice reduced the deficit to 2-1 and 4-2, even if a comeback never looked likely.
Instead, Messi underlined his status as the world's finest footballer with another sublime performance, instant evidence for why he was presented with his latest Ballon d'Or trophy on the pitch before kick-off. Messi now has 12 goals this season, the highest in the division and one ahead of Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, who had scored one and set up another in an equally comfortable 2-0 victory over Espanyol a few hours earlier.
It means Madrid and Barcelona are back level on points at the top of the table, with Barca ahead on goal difference. Sevilla, in third, are four points further back.
Benzema's own irresistible form in parallel with Messi adds an intriguing sub-plot to the upcoming Clasico on December 18, which looks increasingly likely to decide who will sit first over the Christmas break.
"We're talking about Karim a lot recently, in a good way," said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. "He's getting older and that's made a difference, his maturity.
"None of us are perfect. But he's asked to chase and he does it. He's asked to score and he does it. I can't ask for more, only that he keeps doing it."
After rocky starts, La Liga's most successful two clubs also appear to be hitting their stride ahead of what is shaping up to be a crunch meeting in 11 days' time.
Messi in this mood will be hard to stop. For his first goal, he cut in from the right and bent the ball into the top left-hand corner and his second was almost a carbon copy, Suarez setting it back for his partner to hit the same spot.
In between, Budimir latched onto an excellent reverse pass by Salva Sevilla to briefly give Mallorca hope after Griezmann had opened the scoring, racing onto Ter Stegen's through ball and scooping it over Manolo Reina.

More News For this Category

Moise Kean double helps PSG sink Dijon at home

Moise Kean double helps PSG sink Dijon at home

Agency :Moise Kean scored his first goals for Paris St Germain (PSG) as the French champions recovered from their Champions League defeat by Manchester United to move top of

BFF wants shortened quarantine period for Nepal

Sports Reporter :The Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) wants to decrease quarantine time for Nepal Football team.Bangladesh Football team will play two FIFA friendly matches against Nepal Football team on

Real Madrid sink Barca with help of Ramos penalty

Agency :Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos once again proved to be the man for the big occasion as he converted a fiercely debated penalty to help his side to

Liverpool resume normal service but Man City stumble again

Liverpool resume normal service but Man City stumble again

AFP, London :Liverpool came from behind to beat struggling Sheffield United 2-1 and join Everton at the top of the Premier League table on Saturday after Manchester City squandered

Ajax set record with 13-0 win

Ajax Amsterdam set an Eredivisie record when they scored 13 goals past a hapless VVV-Venlo side to move to the top of the standing Saturday, with seven different players

Booters start practise

Sports Reporter :The 15 footballers of Bangladesh preliminary squad started their practise at the Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) on Saturday.Bangladesh will play two FIFA international friendly football matches against

Leverkusen ease 6-2 past Nice in UEFA Europa League

Agency :Bayer Leverkusen put six past Nice to wrap up all three points on home soil at its opening encounter in Europa League's Group C on Thursday.Leverkusen started all

Arsenal's goalkeeper Bernd Leno makes a save during the Europa League Group B football match between Arsenal and SK Rapid Vienna at Allianz Stadion, Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.

Arsenal's goalkeeper Bernd Leno makes a save during the Europa League Group B football match between Arsenal and SK Rapid Vienna at Allianz Stadion, Vienna, Austria, on Thursday.

.

Arsenal and Rangers win as Europa League group stage kicks off

Agency :Arsenal came from behind to down Rapid Vienna 2-1 and Rangers beat Standard Liege 2-0 in the opening round of Europa League group stage matches on Thursday.Arsenal, the

AC Milan defeat Celtic in Europa League

AC Milan defeat Celtic in Europa League

BBC Online :Neil Lennon was "encouraged" despite his Celtic side being overcome by Serie A leaders AC Milan in their Europa League group stage opener in Glasgow.The hosts started