Lionel Messi hat-trick helps Barcelona to the top of La Liga table

With the win, Luis Enrique's side has pulled one point clear of second place Atletico Madrid. Barcelona's 42 points have come from 13 wins and three days in 18 games.

Updated: Jan 09, 2016, 23:56 PM IST
Lionel Messi hat-trick helps Barcelona to the top of La Liga table

New Delhi: Lionel Messi scored his first hat-trick in 10 months and helped defending champions Barcelona beat struggling Granada 4-0 to claim top spot in La Liga table on Saturday.

With the win Luis Enrique's side has pulled one point clear of second place Atletico Madrid. Barcelona's 42 points have come from 13 wins and three days in 18 games.

The match at Camp Nou also marked the debut of former Atletico player Arda Turan as a Barca player. In his first match, the Turkish midfielder set-up Messi for the first game in the eighth minute. Six minutes later, Messi double the lead from a delivery Luis Suarez.

With Barcelona leading 2-0 at the break, Enrique preferred to keep the same XI and by the hour mark, Messi completed his hat-trick with lucky goal, tapping off a rebound from a brilliant solo Neymar effort.

The Brazilian found himself awarded in the 83rd minute. He scored from a close range from a move wich involved Messi and Suarez till the finishing.

The Argentine has reached eight league goal this season after missing two months of action at the end of last year with a knee injury. Neymar and Suarez are the join-leaders with 15 goals each, ahead of Ronaldo's 14.

Struggling Granada didn't have much say in the match, with Barcelona generous in scoring only four goals. Granada are in 17th place with 17 points, two points from the safety zone.