Oct 20, 2012 at 9pm UK at ​Riazor
DeportivoDeportivo La Coruna
4-5
Barcelona
Bergantiños (37'), Pizzi (26' pen., 47'), Alba (79' og.)
Bergantiños (40'), Ayoze (52'), Carlos Valerón (57'), Laure (60')
FT(HT: 2-4)
Alba (3'), Messi (18', 43', 77'), Tello (8')
Mascherano (21'), Iniesta (39'), Fábregas (77'), Messi (85')
Mascherano (49')

Result: Lionel Messi hat-trick gives Barcelona the edge in nine-goal thriller

A Lionel Messi hat-trick helps Barcelona overcome Deportivo in a pulsating game in La Liga.

A hugely entertaining game at Riazor Stadium saw Barcelona beat Deportivo La Coruna by the odd goal in nine tonight.

The first half began in frantic fashion with Barcelona scoring after just three minutes as summer signing Jori Alba got his first goal for the club, finishing well after beating the offside trap.

It was 2-0 five minutes later when Lionel Messi found Cristian Tello on the left and the winger beat his defender before firing past Daniel Aranzubia.

It seemed that the game was over after 17 minutes when Barcelona scored their third. Cesc Fabregas produced a clever back-heel to free Messi, who fired the ball in from outside the penalty area.

The Argentine almost got his second of the game soon after. It was David Villa with the pass this time, but Aranzubia was able to save the shot.

From the resulting corner Deportivo finally mounted a telling counter-attack. Riki raced clear and was adjudged to have been brought down inside the box by Javier Mascherano. Pizzi scored the penalty to get the home team back in the match.

The goal seemed to instill belief back into Deportivo and they pushed forward looking for a second goal.

On 37 minutes they found it. Victor Valdes may be disappointed with his efforts to save Alex Bergantinos's shot, but the ball squirmed in nonetheless.

There was still time for Barcelona to get one more before the break. It was Fabregas again with the assist, finding Messi with a good pass and the Argentine did the rest.

Deportivo were right back in the game straight after half-time.

One minute into the second half, they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Pizzi stepped up and hit the ball into the top corner to get his second of the game.

More drama ensued five minutes later when Mascherano was sent off for a second bookable offence.

That did not stop the away side though, who were awarded a free-kick of their own just outside the box. Messi stepped up aiming for his hat-trick. He was able to beat the wall and Aranzubia but his effort struck the post.

The game continued in end-to-end fashion before Barcelona brought on Xavi in an attempt to regain control.

It seemed to have worked when Messi completed his hat-trick fifteen minutes from the end. After turning on the halfway line, Messi ran towards the box, committing two defenders, before scoring into the bottom corner.

Just one minute later Deportivo made it 5-4 when a counter-attack found Riki at the back post. The striker could not control the ball but Alba inadvertently looped the ball over Valdes and into his own net.

The home team continued to push for an equaliser but Barcelona were able to hang on for all three points.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leganes11001013
2Valencia11001013
3Athletic Bilbao00000000
4Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
5Barcelona00000000
6Celta Vigo00000000
7Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
8EibarEibar00000000
9Espanyol00000000
10Getafe00000000
11GironaGirona00000000
12Levante00000000
13Malaga00000000
14Real Betis00000000
15Real Madrid00000000
16Real Sociedad00000000
17Sevilla00000000
18Villarreal00000000
19AlavesAlaves100101-10
20Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10