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Spanish La Liga

Messi Hat-Trick Downs Levante

Spanish La Liga

Full Time: Barcelona 5-0 Levante

Date: 15 February 2015

Venue: Camp Nou

Barcelona closed the gap on Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish La Liga table to one point with a 5-0 win over Levante in a league match at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The win takes Barcelona to 54 points from 23 games, one behind Madrid while Levante continue to struggle in the relegation zone and occupy 18th place with 19 points.

The game got off to a slow start, but sprang into life in the 20th minute when Neymar mishit a cross from Lionel Messi, but it still found the back of net, 1-0.

Neymar should have doubled the home side’s lead on the half hour mark when Xavi played him through on goal, but he failed to beat the keeper in a one-on-one.

Eight minutes later Messi did find Barcelona’s second goal when he drove into the box from the right and fired a low shot into the far corner, 2-0.

Two minutes later Messi missed a sitter when he was played into space 12-yards out, but he fired over with the goal at his mercy.

The half ended 2-0 in favour of Barcelona.

Barcelona continued to dominate the second half and they finally made their pressure tell on the hour mark when Messi turned home an inch perfect pass from Pedro, 3-0.

In the 68th minute Barcelona were afforded the chance to put the result doubt when Neymar was brought down inside the box by Ivan Lopez and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Messi stepped up and completed his hat-trick with a clinical penalty-kick, 4-0.

Luis Suarez provided the icing on the cake with the home side’s fifth goal ten minutes later with a spectacular overhead scissor into the bottom corner, 5-0.

Barcelona took their foot off the pedal and cruised to their 18th win of the season

Starting XI: Barcelona V Levante

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