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Hat-trick hero Messi steals show

January 19, 2015 09:06:18 UK

A hat-trick from Lionel Messi – his 30th for his club – ensured Barcelona stay in hot pursuit of rivals and leaders Real Madrid in La Liga.

The 27-year-old stole the show at Estadio Municipal de Riazor with a stunning three-goal haul as Barca beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 at the end of another week in which speculation about his future has hit the headlines.

The Argentina superstar moved on to 19 goals for the season in the Spanish top-flight with another mesmerising performance and the Catalans remain just one point behind Carlo Ancelotti’s table-toppers.

Luis Enrique’s side had been held by Getafe and beaten 1-0 by Real Sociedad in their last two road trips and the Barca coach was not completely enamoured by the result.

“We have always had defensive intensity away from home,” he said in quotes reported by AS.

“We must be efficient in attack and in defence. But there are things to improve in both phases. Victories help.”

Three-time Champions League winner Messi said before last Monday’s Ballon d’Or ceremony “I don’t know where I’ll be next year” but put aside any doubts about his commitment to the club with his 22nd La Liga treble – the same number as Alfredo di Stefano and Telmo Zarra.

Enrique said he had no qualms about the six-time title winner and insisted he would not allow speculation about his future to affect his performances.

He added: “He [Messi] has been at a very high level throughout the season. At no time has it lowered.”

Real Madrid are currently priced 1.33 in the La Liga outright betting and nearest-challengers Barcelona are quoted 3.50.

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