Result: Barcelona 5-3 Granada

Lionel Messi
© PA Photos
Barcelona close the gap on Real Madrid to just five points as Lionel Messi's eighth hat-trick of the season helps them beat Granada at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona have closed the gap on Real Madrid to just five points at the top of La Liga after Lionel Messi's eighth hat-trick of the season helped them to secure a victory over Granada at the Nou Camp.

Xavi gave the hosts the lead after four minutes with a crisp eight-yard finish after Messi had nodded into his path.

Messi doubled the lead 13 minutes later with a side-footed volley from Isaac Cuenca's cross.

The strike was the Argentinean's 232nd for the club and it equalled the all-time goalscoring record of Cesar Rodriguez.

A rare Granada attack 10 minutes into the second half provided the visitors with hope as Carlos Martins's whipped free kick was headed home by captain Diego Mainz.

To the shock of the 62,401 in attendance, Abel Resino's side then levelled the scores seven minutes later as Guilherme Siqueira coolly converted from the penalty spot after Dani Alves had felled Daniel Benitez.

Shock was quickly turned to celebration as Messi made history and became the club's sole leading scorer in the 72nd minute by chipping Julio Cesar after collecting a fine Alves through pass.

Substitute Cristian Tello restored the two-goal cushion eight minutes from time with his third goal in three games, before Messi completed his hat-trick four minutes later.

The night ended on a sour note for Pep Guardiola's side as Alves conceded his second penalty of the game, this time for handling in the final minute of regulation time. The Brazilian full-back was shown a second yellow card and Siqueira again netted from 12 yards.

Lassana Diarra
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid23174260223855
2Barcelona24166265204554
3Sevilla24164448291952
4Atletico MadridAtletico24136544212345
5Real Sociedad2414283732544
6Villarreal24109532181439
7EibarEibar2411583931838
8Athletic Bilbao2411583129238
9Espanyol249873331235
10Celta Vigo2310493737034
11AlavesAlaves248972429-533
12Las PalmasLas Palmas2477103236-428
13Valencia2475123443-926
14Malaga2468103140-926
15Real Betis2366112337-1424
16Leganes2456132039-1921
17Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2347122639-1319
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon2445152648-2217
19Granada2437142252-3016
20Osasuna2417162455-3110