Lionel Messi scored four as Barcelona cruised to a 6-1 success over Eibar that maintained their 100 per cent start to the LaLiga season.
Barca made it five wins from five thanks to another Messi masterclass, with his four-goal haul taking his tally to 11 in his past five appearances, while Denis Suarez and summer signing Paulinho both found the net for the second game in succession.
Even with Luis Suarez on the bench, the hosts still had far too much for an Eibar side that had pulled it back to 3-1 through Sergi Enrich before Messi took over.
It was the Argentinian whose penalty set them on their way, won when Alejandro Galvez barged into Nelson Semedo and after Paulinho headed in a second from a corner, it was Messi’s saved shot that Denis Suarez latched upon to make it 3-0 early in the second period.
Though Enrich then pulled one back, Messi soon had his 39th Barcelona hat-trick, and his second of the month, as he passed into the net before completing his treble after breaking from halfway in a fine move that also involved Paulinho.
And Messi still had time to grab his fourth of the night three minutes from time as he finished off a one-two involving substitute Aleix Vidal.
Earlier in the evening, Simone Zaza also scored a hat-trick inside nine minutes as Valencia routed Malaga 5-0 in LaLiga.
The Italy international, who experienced an ill-fated loan spell with West Ham last year, struck three times between the 54th and 63rd minutes after Santi Mina had opened the scoring for Valencia, with substitute Rodrigo adding a fifth late on.
Los Che maintained their unbeaten record, though this was their first win in four games, against a Malaga side that have opened their league campaign with five defeats from five.
Zaza had already had one goal disallowed for offside when Mina headed home the 17th-minute opener and it remained 1-0 until the break.
Zaza’s rapid hat-trick then took the game beyond Malaga and he was taken off for Rodrigo, who rounded it off with a fifth after a cheeky back-heeled pass from Goncalo Guedes to set him up.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 20, 2017
Provided by Press Association Sport
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