Hat-trick for Messi as Barcelona equal Laliga record

Hat-trick for Messi as Barcelona equal Laliga record

The win saw Barca equal the record longest unbeaten run in LaLiga history and make it 38 league games without defeat.

Leganes pulled a goal back on 68 minutes as Nabil El Zhar found some space on the edge of the box before finding the bottom corner, 2-1.

The day kicked off with second half goals from Victor Laguardia and Munir El Hadaddi, giving Alaves a 2-0 win over Getafe.

Barca to win to nil is priced at 8/15 (1.53), although more appealing is the price of 9/10 (1.90) for Valverde's side to win with a -2 handicap. Rakitic has been able to adapt to a holding midfield role when usual anchor Sergio Busquets has been absent, while Sergi Roberto has proved as comfortable at right back as in midfield.

He always seemed to have that X-factor about him but Ousmane Dembele has taken some time to groom himself into the Barcelona philosophy.

He was defensively sound but also looked to get forward and support Philippe Coutinho on the left flank, as well as allowing Jordi Alba a rare breather.

Valverde says he is not looking to rest Lionel Messi against Leganes.

After being picked out by Philippe Coutinho, Messi then doubled the score-line, holding off two defenders before finding the net with a trademark finish, which he nearly passed into the goal.

Barcelona kept their quest for becoming the La Liga king this season and are doing so in an invincibility manner having not lost any game this season. "It has been quite hard, because of the fact it's an old record that hasn't been broken for a long time".

Leganes ought to have scored straight after the break when Claudio Beauvue headed narrowly over the goal after replacing Nordin Amrabat.

Barcelona had eased off and gave Leganes a glimmer of hope-until Messi intervened once again.

Perhaps with one eye on the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Roma on Tuesday they showed little of the scintillating football they are capable of.

It's suggested Villarreal and Celta Vigo are also keen.

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