Lionel Messi scored a treble against Celta Vigo on Saturday to equal Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 34 hat-tricks in La Liga. Riding on Messi’s three goals, Barcelona won 4-1 to stay on top of the table on the virtue of goal difference.

The Argentine superstar opened the scoring for his team in the 23rd minute with a penalty. However, a rare foul saw him earn a yellow card and promote Celta Vigo’s equalizer. Lucas Olaza smashed his left-footer into the bottom-right corner of Barca’s net.

But Messi more than compensated for his fault as he scored from two brilliant free-kicks to complete his hat-trick. The first one came in the dying minutes of the first half when the 32-year-old curled the ball from a distance of around 25 yards to the back of the net.

The next one came at the very opening stage of the next half. This time it was just about outside the penalty box but the result came out same as the Celta Vigo goalkeeper Ruben Blanco stood beaten for the second time in the day.

Sergio Busquets put the final nail in the coffin as he netted the fourth goal for his in the 85th minute. With the win, the Catalan giants took their tally to 25 points the same as of Real Madrid and four clear of Real Sociedad.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde praised shower on the five-time Ballon D’Or winner and said that that it would be impossible for the team to not depend on the brilliance of Messi.

“It’s impossible not to depend on Messi. That’s how it works. He lights up everything. Today we were fluent and he scored three times. It is an advantage that we have and our opponents fear and that is fine,” Valverde was quoted as saying by Goal.com.