Hat-trick star Messi hits new heights | sports | Hindustan Times
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Hat-trick star Messi hits new heights

sports Updated: Mar 22, 2010 11:37 IST

AFP
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Lionel Messi hit a second successive La Liga hat-trick, and his eighth goal in a week, as the magical Argentine inspired Barcelona to a 4-2 win at Real Zaragoza.

Messi has now scored eleven of Barcelona's last 14 goals, virtually single-handedly keeping the champions neck-and-neck with Real Madrid at the top of the table.

It was his fifth career hat-trick for Barcelona and followed his triple in the 3-0 win over Valencia last weekend and double strike in the 4-0 win over Stuttgart which ensured a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"Messi did well, I'll leave it for others to find the adjectives to describe him," said Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

Barcelona needing a victory to stay level with Real Madrid, who beat Sporting Gijon 3-1 on Saturday, got off to the perfect start with Messi heading them in front after four minutes yesterday.
Barcelona had to wait until midway through the second half for their next goal when Messi went on mazy run, beating two players before finishing clinically.

He added a third before substitute Adrian Colunga brought Zaragoza briefly back into the match with a brace.

Messi though was proving unstoppable and he forced a penalty which Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted in injury time.

Guardiola gave his backing to Ibrahimovic, who has been struggling in front of goal.