MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 18:39:59
Sep 9, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Attendance: 72,857
Barcelona
5-0
Espanyol
Messi (26', 35', 67'), Pique (87'), Suarez (90')
Busquets (21')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Lopez (29'), Sanchez (60'), Darder (71'), Martin (74'), Diop (84')

Ernesto Valverde hails "extraordinary" hat-trick hero Lionel Messi

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde says that Lionel Messi is "extraordinary" after the Argentine scored a hat-trick in Saturday's 5-0 win over Catalan rivals Espanyol.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has described Lionel Messi as "extraordinary" after scoring a hat-trick in Saturday's 5-0 win over Catalan rivals Espanyol.

The Argentine forward scored in the 26th, 35th and 67th minutes to all but kill off the La Liga game as a contest, before Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez added further gloss to the scoreline.

It was a 42nd career hat-trick for Messi, 38 of which have come for Barcelona, and his boss could not help but sing his praises following the Camp Nou rout.

"I am happy for Leo who scored three goals and is extraordinary," Valverde said at a post-match press conference. "We pulled through a complicated game, because these kinds of matches are always tough.

"Despite the result, it wasn't easy. Espanyol fought very well, but we have great players like Messi, who scored three goals, and Suarez, who gave everything like the rest of the team."

The result puts Barcelona, who host Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday night, two points clear at the top of the table, having yet to concede a goal in their three La Liga victories.

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Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona during their La Liga clash with Granada at the Camp Nou on October 29, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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