Thursday, 21 November, 2019

Messi gives set-piece masterclass as Barca crush Celta

Griezmann must adapt to Barcelona's style of play says Valverde. GOAL Barcelona 4-1 Celta Vigo: Lionel Messi hits hat-trick as champions reclaim top spot
Cary Erickson | 10 November, 2019, 21:36

He was his phenomenal self on Saturday, as he scored a couple of free-kick goals for Barcelona in a game against Celta Vigo in the Spanish domestic league- La Liga.

It was also Messi's 52nd career hat-trick, with his first hat-trick dating back to 2007.

The Barcelona captain converted a penalty before netting two sumptuous freekicks to condemn Celta to a 4-1 defeat at the Camp Nou.

The Argentina playmaker, though, then produced a trademark free-kick of his own to put Barca back in front heading into half-time.

Antoine Griezmann, who struggled again to make an impact, saw a shot well saved by Celta keeper Ruben Blanco as Barca, now with Sergio Busquets on the pitch following Nelson Semedo's injury midway through the first half, giving Ernesto Valverde's side much more control of the ball. Both the players have 34 hat-tricks till date.

The Argentina worldwide has also equalled Cristiano Ronaldo's record of 34 hat-tricks in the Primera Division.

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"We have a very big advantage, he's the best in the world and also the best freekick taker in the world", Busquets told Movistar about Messi.

"With Leo, anything is possible", Valverde said.

"Little by little he has been improving at free kicks, he used to find them hard".

"It is an advantage that we have, that our opponents fear and that is fine".

While the former Real Madrid star reached the 34 hat-tricks mark in 288 games for Los Blancos, Messi took 459 matches to become the player with most hat-tricks in La Liga along with Ronaldo. "Having him around gives us a real boost". "The other day we had a painful defeat and we had to win today".