Barca hit eight but Valencia are top

Lionel Messi scores a hat-trick against Osasuna while Valencia beat Sporting Gijon to go top of La Liga.

    Lionel Messi opened and closed the scoring while securing his hat-trick for Barcelona [GALLO/GETTY] 

    After disappointing draws to AC Milan in the Champions League and to Real Sociedad last weekend, Barcelona proved they were as strong as ever with an effortless 8-0 victory over Osasuna in the Spanish Primera Division on Saturday. 

    Barcelona were in cruise control as they tore Osasuna apart to get their title campaign firmly back on track. 

    The goals came easily for Pep Guardiola's men with Lionel Messi once again outshining his teammates by completing a hat-trick late on.

    Cesc Fabregas continued his great start to his Barca career with another goal and several assists.  

    Osasuna could only watch in awe as their superior rivals dominated in every part of the pitch and this was another game that showed the big gulf developing between the top and bottom teams in the league.

    Messi opened the scoring after just five minutes with Cesc Fabregas adding a second only a few minutes later.

    The ever reliable David Villa made it three and an own goal by Brazilian Roversio on 40 minutes and another Messi strike gave Barcelona an emphatic 5-0 lead at half-time. 

    Results and fixtures

    Saturday September 17

     Granada 1-0 Villarreal
     Mallorca 0-1 Malaga
     Sporting 0-1 Valencia    Barcelona 8-0 Osasuna 
     Sevilla 1-0 Real Sociedad 

    Sunday September 18

     Getafe v Vallecano
     Zaragoza v Espanyol
     Atl Madrid v Santander     Levante v Real Madrid
     Atl Bilbao v Real Betis

    The game was over but the goal scoring was certainly not.

    Xavi joined the party ten minutes after the break with Osasuna already resigned to a thrashing.

    There was still time left for Villa to score his second of the night and for Messi, who despite the lead was working as hard as ever, to secure his hat-trick.  

    Despite the commanding performance Barcelona find themselves trailing Valencia who remained top of the Spanish league after Roberto Soldado's first-half goal gave his team a 1-0 win at Sporting Gijon on Saturday. 

    The Spanish striker scored on the half-hour mark at El Molinon stadium after Sporting goalkeeper Juan Colinas blocked but failed to clear a shot from Jonas.

    Winger Pablo Hernandez set up Jonas in the 37th minute only to see the Brazilian forward's strike hit the post.

    Sporting pressed for the equaliser but Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita pushed David Barral's shot over the bar in the 83rd.

    Soldado and Messi are now the league's top scorers with five goals in three games, one more than Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Madrid and Real Betis can draw even with Valencia with wins on Sunday while Sporting's third defeat in as many weeks leaves them in last place.

    Ikechukwu Uche's second-half header lifted the promoted Granada 1-0 over Villarreal for their first victory in Spain's top division in 35 years.

    Uche, who is on loan to Granada this season from Villarreal, scored Granada's first goal of the season when he headed Siquiera's cross past Villarreal goalkeeper Cesar Sanchez in the 56th.

    Villarreal had a perfect opportunity to salvage a draw in the 78th but Giuseppe Rossi hit the post from his penalty kick and Jonathan De Guzman fired the rebound wide as the "Yellow Submarine" stayed winless this campaign.

    At Iberostar stadium, Malaga edged a lacklustre Mallorca 1-0.

    Brazilian forward Baptista returned to Malaga's starting lineup after five months on the sidelines, but it was defender Martin Demichelis who got his team's second straight win with a 39th-minute header off a free kick from Santi Cazorla.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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