Barcelona 5-2 Real Mallorca: Messi scores hat-trick as champion regains top spot

Barcelona eased to a 5-2 win over Real Mallorca at Camp Nou on Saturday, with Lionel Messi scoring another hat-trick.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates a goal against Real Mallorca.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates a goal against Real Mallorca.   -  Getty Images

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in the week he was crowned the world's best player as Barcelona eased to a 5-2 home win over Real Mallorca and reclaimed top spot in LaLiga.

Antoine Griezmann gave Barca a seventh-minute lead and Messi then took over with a couple of goals, either side of Ante Budimir's strike against the run of play.

On a day when the home side's front three clicked into gear, Luis Suarez added a fourth before the end of the first half with a sublime back-heel to round off a fluid passing move.

Budimir pulled another back for Mallorca 26 minutes from time, but Messi rounded off his hat-trick late on as Barca maintained its good form and overtook Real Madrid at the summit.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen claimed a second assist of the season with a quick goal-kick that Griezmann collected and lifted over Manolo Reina after racing through on goal.

Reina produced an impressive save to keep out the returning Sergio Busquets' header, but Messi found a way past the visiting keeper 95 seconds later with a 25-yard curler.

READ: Henderson: Liverpool squad strength makes winning run easy

Mallorca, now winless in seven away league outings this season, gave itself hope when Budimir's shot deflected off Clement Lenglet and looped over Ter Stegen.

But Messi took matters into his own hands with another trademark goal from range, before Suarez capped a fine piece of team play by back-heeling in from eight yards.

Reina frustrated Ernesto Valverde's men with a string of saves and Budimir then headed in from close range to once again give Mallorca a foothold on the game.

Barca made certain of a sixth win in a row in all competitions thanks to Messi's third of the match late on, the forward picking out the roof of the net after being teed up by Suarez to move onto 35 LaLiga hat-tricks in his career – one more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

What does it mean? Barcelona hits top gear to overtake Real Madrid

Madrid's straightforward 2-0 win over Espanyol earlier on Saturday saw it leapfrog Barcelona at the LaLiga summit, but the champion responded in style to move level on 34 points.

Valverde's men played some sublime football against Mallorca and have now collected 27 of the last 30 points on offer, compared to 14 from the previous 27.

Magical Messi marches on

Barcelona superstar Messi saw off competition from Virgil van Dijk to win a record sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday and he once again proved his worth with his treble.

He has been involved in at least one goal in his past nine LaLiga games for Barca and has now reached doubled figures for goals in 14 successive league campaigns.

Mallorca makes a mockery of marking

Suarez's goal was undoubtedly the best of the contest, but could Mallorca have done more to prevent it?

Frenkie de Jong was allowed to play a couple of one-twos on the edge of the box and slip the ball in behind for Suarez to do the rest, with the likes of Martin Valjent and Antonio Raillo simply watching on.

Key Opta Facts

- Barcelona's Lionel Messi has become the player with the most hat-tricks in LaLiga history (35), surpassing Cristiano Ronaldo (34).
- Luis Suarez has scored against every team he has faced in LaLiga (139 goals against 28 teams).
- This is the third game in which Messi, Suarez and Antoine Griezmann have scored together for Barca in all competitions and the second in LaLiga (Eibar and Borussia Dortmund were the others).
- Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the only goalkeeper to assist two goals in the top five European leagues this season.
- Mallorca's Manolo Reina made 14 saves against Barcelona, the most by a goalkeeper in a game in the top five European leagues this season.

What's next?

Barca travels to Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday, with its place in the last 16 already assured. Mallorca has an eight-day gap before heading to Celta Vigo.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :