Lionel Messi hit the 50-goal mark for club and country in 2018 after scoring his 43rd career hat trick for Barcelona on Sunday. Messi’s brilliance powered Barcelona to a 5-0 victory at Levante and kept the defending champions three points ahead of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league.
It also avenged Barcelona’s only loss in the league last season when Levante stunned the visitors 5-4 in the penultimate round in a match that Messi missed. “We had circled this match on the calendar after what happened here last season,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. “We had trouble at the beginning, as we expected, but once we got in front we were able to little by little play our game.”
Messi netted his 18th, 19th and 20th goals in all competitions this season after setting up Luis Suarez to get Barcelona rolling against the flow of play at the Ciutat de Valencia Stadium.
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18 August, 2019