LIONEL Messi scored a stunning hat-trick in Barcelonaâ€™s 4-0 romp at Deportivo La CoruÃ±a to prove once again he is not letting speculation about his future distract him from what he does best.
Messi followed up a brilliant showing in last weekendâ€™s 3-1 La Liga win at home to the champions, AtlÃ©tico Madrid, with a treble which keeps BarÃ§a hard on the heels of Real Madrid at the top.
The Argentinian tormented Deportivo from the kick-off, drawing a save from Fabricio Agosto seconds before Ivan Rakitic found Messiâ€™s run with a lobbed pass over the defence that he headed over the goalkeeper. Messi got his second in the 33rd minute by chipping the ball over Agosto when Neymarâ€™s pass for Luis SuÃ¡rez fell to him in the six-yard box. His third came in the 62nd after he waltzed into the penalty area and fired an unstoppable left-footed shot inside the far post.
Barcelona were handed their fourth by the hapless Deportivo defence in the closing stages when Alberto Lopoâ€™s clearance hit his team-mate Sidnei and bounced in.
Messiâ€™s hat-trick was his 22nd in La Liga, one fewer than Real Madridâ€™s Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who beat Messi into second place to win a third Fifa Ballon dâ€™Or award on Monday and scored two in Real Madridâ€™s 3-0 win at Getafe earlier on Sunday. Messi, voted the worldâ€™s best player four times between 2009 and 2012, has hit 30 hat-tricks for BarÃ§a in all competitions and three for Argentina.
Real, who have a game in hand, top La Liga on 45 points at the halfway point of the season, with BarÃ§a second on 44 and AtlÃ©tico, who won 2-0 at home to Granada, third on 41. – The Guardian