Messi equals Ronaldo's record for LaLiga hat-tricks

Barcelona 4-1 Celta Vigo: Lionel Messi hits hat-trick as champions reclaim top spot

Real Madrid produced an assured display to win 4-0 away to Eibar in a rain-swept Ipurua Stadium.

As he took home another La Liga ball, this one would have felt special, as he has now equalled Ronaldo's record for the most hat-tricks scored in Spanish top-flight history.

His first effort came just before the break, with the second - a near carbon copy of the first - coming at the start of the second half before Sergio Busquets put the seal on a 4-1 victory.

"With Leo, anything is possible", Valverde said. If they do, we try to take advantage.

As stats reveal, Messi has scored more free-kick goals in a single game (2) than what Ronaldo has managed in 694 days- close to two years.

Barcelona next host Celta de Vigo as they look to get back to winning ways ahead of the worldwide break, with Óscar García Junyent's side looking to cause an upset to climb out of the relegation zone.

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"It was really difficult for us in the first half, with their high press that made it hard for us to play out and we didn't have much rhythm in our play".

"We had a damaging defeat the other day and we needed a win tonight".

It had been a torrid week for the Blaugrana, who lost 3-1 at Levante before being held to a goalless draw by Slavia Prague, but Messi scored a penalty and two superb free-kicks as his side returned to the top of LaLiga.

Any kind of blip can lead to an unsettled mood around Camp Nou but Valverde's job looks safe again after Messi demonstrated the kind of swagger that is expected at Barcelona.

The Celta boss said in press conference quotes reported by Marca: "It is uncontrollable".

Barcelona later confirmed right-back Nelson Semedo would be out for around five weeks with the calf problem which forced him off after 23 minutes.

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