Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Hat-trick by Messi the key as Barca rout Espanyol

Hat-trick by Messi the key as Barca rout Espanyol

He doubled his team's lead 10 minutes before half time break.

The Argentina forward completed his 38th Barcelona hat-trick when he finished off from another Alba cross.

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Ivan "Ivi" Lopez gave the visitors a shock lead in the 12th minute, flicking the ball into the air over Dani Carvajal as he tried to control a long throw-in and volleying into the near corner.

Spanish giants Barcelona have crushed La Liga side Espanyol 5-0 in the Spanish league taking them to the zenith of the league with nine points from three games.

Suarez's trials continued as he looped an attempt on to the roof of the net having been set up by Messi - both forwards jogged back into position wearing rueful smiles.

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Earlier, Real paid for the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo and a series of missed chances by Gareth Bale as they were held to a shock 1-1 home draw by newly-promoted Levante.

He showed why Barca have made the 20-year-old the third most expensive player ever as his pinpoint cross was swept home by Suarez to round off the scoring after Gerard Pique had headed home Barca's fourth.

Andre Gomes threaded a delightful ball into Dembele's path who then provided a glorious assist for Suarez.

The fixture closed out with the hosts continuing to control the game, as they had done all evening, and their dominance again shone through with five minutes to go as Pique rose above all else inside the area to convert Rakitic's fiercely-whipped corner.

The club promised two signings in the last week of the transfer window and none arrived and Bartomeu was booed by fans at Dembele's presentation in the Camp Nou stadium.

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