Result: Barcelona 5-3 Granada

Result: Barcelona 5-3 Granada
© 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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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1211103342934
2Valencia1293032112130
3Real Madrid127322291324
4Atletico MadridAtletico126601661024
5Sevilla127141412222
6Villarreal126331912721
7Real Sociedad125342522318
8Leganes12525911-217
9Real Betis125252125-417
10Getafe124441914516
11GironaGirona124441417-316
12Levante123631415-115
13Celta Vigo124262319414
14Espanyol12345915-613
15Athletic Bilbao123361216-412
16Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo123271523-811
17EibarEibar123271125-1411
18Malaga12219925-167
19AlavesAlaves122010620-146
20Las PalmasLas Palmas122010830-226