Millennium Post

Messi's hattrick as Barca beat Espanyol 5-0

Barcelona: Leo Messi scored a hattrick as Barcelona continued their 100 per cent start to the new Liga Santander football season with a 5-0 win at home over local rivals Espanyol.

It may have been tough for Barca off the pitch with failed signings, but Messi turned on the style in the Camp Nou to put his side 2-0 up by halftime against a rival who will point out that his opening goal came from a marginally offside position on Saturday, reports Xinhua news agency.
Luis Suarez had a couple of good chances saved by Pau in the Espanyol goal, but Messi assured the points remained in the Camp Nou when he rounded off his hat-trick in the 67th minute.
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde brought record signing Ousmane Dembele into the game directly after the goal, but it was Gerard Pique who scored Barca's fourth of the game with a powerful header five minutes from time.
Dembele then announced his arrival with a low cross to tee up Suarez for Barca's fifth to round off a perfect night for Barca fans.
While there were celebrations in the Camp Nou, Madrid dropped four points behind Barca as they surprisingly let two other points escape them in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after being held to a 1-1 draw by Levante in a midday kick off.
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