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HomeSportsLionel Messi hat-trick keeps Barcelona in sight of Real Madrid

Lionel Messi hat-trick keeps Barcelona in sight of Real Madrid

Lionel Messi struck a stunning hat-trick to ensure Barcelona maintained the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-0 win away to Deportivo la Coruna to cut the gap at the top to one point.

Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo rounded off a week where he was named World Player of the Year for the third time by scoring twice as Madrid struck three times in the final half hour to beat Getafe 3-0.

Atletico Madrid, who dumped Real out the Copa del Rey in midweek, moved back to within four points of their city rivals in third as goals from Mario Mandzukic and Raul Garcia handed them a 2-0 win over managerless Granada.

“Messi has been at an extraordinarily high level all season,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique, despite reports of a dressing room rift between the two in recent weeks.

“He hasn’t dipped at any point. He has been world class.”

In a change from his much criticised rotation policy, Enrique named the same side that beat Atletico 3-1 at home last weekend and was rewarded with another bright display illuminated by Messi’s class in front of goal.

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