MX23RW : Friday, February 26 19:24:26| >> :120:18355:18355:
Mar 8, 2015 at 11am UK at Camp Nou
Rayo Vallecano
Suarez (5', 91'), Pique (49'), Messi (56' pen., 63', 68')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Bueno (81' pen.)

Result: Lionel Messi hat-trick sends Barcelona top of La Liga

Lionel Messi scores a second-half hat-trick as Barcelona go top of the La Liga table with a 6-1 victory at home to Rayo Vallecano.

A second-half hat-trick from Lionel Messi has seen Barcelona move to the top of the La Liga table with a 6-1 thrashing of Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou.

The hosts opened the scoring with just six minutes on the clock as Luis Suarez burst through on goal before finding the net with a neat flick past goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez.

 Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at Camp Nou on March 8, 2015© Getty Images

Barca were dominant for the remainder of the first half, but Messi, Pedro, and Suarez were all denied by the busy Alvarez.

Vallecano's resistance was broken four minutes into the second half as Gerard Pique was on hand to convert from close range after the visitors had failed to clear a corner.

Messi scored the first of his goals on 57 minutes from the penalty spot after Tito was shown a second yellow card for pulling down Suarez in the box. The Argentine saw his first effort saved, but an encroachment allowed him to take it again and rifle the ball past Alvarez.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi scores a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 8, 2015© Getty Images

Barcelona's star man took his tally to 40 goals for the season on 63 minutes when he tapped home from a few yards out after Suarez's initial shot had been kept out by Alvarez.

Five minutes later, Messi secured his hat-trick by holding off Antonio Amaya before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting in.

Despite the home side's dominance, Vallecano managed to get on the scoresheet with nine minutes left as Alberto Bueno scored a penalty following a red card for Dani Alves for a foul on the forward.

However, Barca scored their sixth goal of the afternoon in stoppage time thanks to Suarez, who cut in from the right to squeeze the ball under Alvarez for his second of the match.

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Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi scores a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 8, 2015
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