Riding on a hat-trick from Argentina talisman Lionel Messi at Camp Nou, Barcelona registered an emphatic 5-2 win over Mallorca on Saturday night to inch Real Madrid at the top in the La Liga table.
The hosts broke the deadlock in the sixth minute when Barca shot stopper Marc Andre ter Stegen gave a long pass to Antoine Griezmann from a goal kick and the Frenchman ran more than 30 meters before tapping the ball over Mallorca goalie Manolo Reina.
Despite Mallorca’s attempts to find an equaliser, the hosts managed to dominate possession as Messi opened his account to double the lead. However, Mallorca managed to bounce back when Ante Budimir’s shot was deflected off Clement Lenglet and deceived ter Stegen.
Nonetheless, six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi soon made it 3-1 by scoring again through a clever long-distance shot.
In the 43rd minute, Luis Suarez netted a magic goal that featured a superb back-foot strike to deceive Reina and expanded Blaugrana’s lead to 4-1.
After half time, Budimir scored a second consolation goal for the visitors with a header on a great cross by Fran Gomez. But soon Messi completed his hat-trick with seven minutes left on the clock. The Argentine received a pass from Suarez inside the penalty area and sent it in towards the right of Reina.
Messi, who had offered his sixth Ballon d’Or to the crowd in Camp Nou before the beginning of the match, leads the goal-scorers’ chart with 12 goals this season and is followed by Karim Benzema of Real Madrid (11 goals).