Lionel Messi Equals Cristiano Ronaldo LaLiga Record

Celta Vigo goalkeeper Ruben Blanco Veiga fails to stop a Leo Messi free-kick

Celta Vigo goalkeeper Ruben Blanco Veiga fails to stop a Leo Messi free-kick

Lionel Messi scored a scintillating hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Celta Vigo as he dug Barcelona out of a rut nearly single-handedly at Camp Nou.

Then Messi gave away Celta's equaliser with a foul on the edge of his own box, with Lucas Olaza burying the free-kick.

He conjured up an nearly identical strike at the start of the second half to complete his treble and match Cristiano Ronaldo's record of 34 hat-tricks in Spain's top flight.

Sergio Busquets drilled in the fourth but it was Messi's night as usual as he repeated a feat last managed in Spain in 2012 - by Messi himself.

Barcelona, who are now level with rivals Real Madrid with 25 points, travel to Leganes following the global break, defending, while Celta Vigo, who continue in a crisis despite recently appointing Oscar Garcia Junyent as manager, will look for their third win of the season against Villarreal. "This (taking free-kicks) is something that he has mastered to perfection". "He's been improving and that's an advantage, I hope he keeps scoring them".

Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona are flawed and this win will not paper over the cracks, especially as one of which is extreme dependence on Messi.

"After losing, it's nice to win".

"It was really difficult for us in the first half, with their high press that made it hard for us to play out and we didn't have much rhythm in our play".

With Messi's hug with Griezmann seemingly assuring everyone that there was no problem between both of them, it is his reaction to Dembele that has now attracted the attention of the fans - as they feel that something must be wrong within the club. "Some players leave, others stay, but after this break come very strong matches in which we play a lot".

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