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

Valverde hails
© Getty Images
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.

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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19AlavesAlaves122010620-146
20Las PalmasLas Palmas122010830-226