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Magical Nets Hat-Trick As Barca Reclaim Top Spot

LaLiga 

Result: FC Barcelona 5-2 Real Mallorca

Date: 07 December 2019

Venue: Camp Nou

Just days after claiming the Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick as FC Barcelona thumped Real Mallorca 5-2 to reclaim top spot in LaLiga.

Blaugrana manager Ernesto Valverde kept virtually the same side that edged Atletico Madrid last weekend, with the exception of Sergio Busquets who returned from suspension, taking the place of the injured Arthur, while Messi took to the field for the first time since clinching a record sixth Ballon d'Or award.

Barca had a dream start as Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a lobbed effort over the on-rushing goalkeeper Manolo Reina from a quick counter-attack launched by shot-stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Messi reminded everyone why he was voted the best player in the world in the 17th minute after curling home a trademark left-footed strike from the edge of the box.

However, Mallorca pulled a goal back with ten minutes remaining of the first stanza after Ante Budimir raced inside from a through ball and struck fierce shot that deflected off Clement Lenglet and looped over ter Stegen.

Messi produced yet another collector's item four minutes before the break after curling a stunning strike ino the top corner after a quick one-two between Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez in the build up.

Suarez gave Valverde's charges a fourth goal just before the break after pulling off an audacious back-heel two minutes before the break that found the net after exchanging passes with Frenkie de Jong.

The Catalan giants took their foot off the gas a bit early in the second stanza as the visitors reduced the deficit in the 64th minute after Budimir powerd home a header from close range to complete his brace.

However, the night belonged to Messi, who grabbed his hat-trick with seven minutes remaining with an effortless side-footed effort shot that beat Reina after being set up by Suarez.

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