Lionel Messi scored his first hat trick in 10 months to help ease a victory 4-0 over Granada to return to the top of the Primera Division as he warmed up for the Ballon d’Or.
The Argentine netted twice in the opening quarter of an hour and
completed his treble after the break, pouncing after Neymar had hit the
post, but the Brazilian was able to get on the scoresheet late on to
complete the rout.
It was an outstanding performance by Barcelona, who avenged their goalless draw at Espanyol last weekend with a resounding 4-1 win over their neighbours in the Copa del Rey.
Messi’s first hat trick of the season was also his 25th in his La Liga
career, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 28. Since Messi returned from
his knee injury, he has scored 12 goals with five assists in 11 games
in all competitions.