Barcelona earn revenge in 5-0 Levante rout with Messi hat trick

17 December 2018 12:10 GMT

Lionel Messi scored his 49th career hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Levante 5-0 in La Liga to earn some revenge in the 5-4 win that was the only loss for Barca last season to go three points ahead in the league.

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Enis Bardhi’s attempt to play his way out of trouble backfired and the ball fell to Messi, who jinked his way across the outside of the penalty area before providing a clipped reverse pass to Luis Suarez for a controlled volley finish.

Levante were guilty of giving the ball away and two minutes before half-time after a mistake by Ruben Rochina on the halfway line handing it straight to Sergio Busquets, who immediately sent Messi racing through to fire through the legs of Oier and into the net.

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Jordi Alba, who driven ball across the goalmouth gave Messi the chance sweep home from inside the box and the Argentine completed his treble on the hour down to Suarez wing play down the left before crossing to Arturo Vidal, at the back post who laid the ball back for the Argentinian to tap in.

Levante lost Erick Cabaco to a red card 14 minutes from the end for a two-footed challenge against Ousmane Dembele with the referee going straight for his card.

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Gerard Pique added the icing to the cake helping himself to the fifth, after coming off the back to stride forward and found himself in the front and Messi slipped him and he made room for himself with a flick behind his leg and fire past Oier Olazabal.

ken Nzuki

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